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FrankenPC On December - 6 - 2009


From the same genius behind “The Story Of Stuff” (Annie Leonard) comes a short movie and animation describing exactly why “Cap and Trade” is not only a horrible distraction but just another excuse for the “bubble” traders to cash in on something we need to gain control of.

The Story of Cap & Trade

Categories: News & Politics

20 Responses so far.

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  1. nellie says:

    David Roberts gives a blow by blow analysis of the film and his counterpoints in the latest issue of Grist. The article is Annie Leonard misses the mark in her new video,

    • FrankenPC says:

      You know what I love most about this stuff? Annie posits some very simple ideas in a very easy to understand format. Then, thoughtful people like you and KQuark find faults and deliver much greater detail. Now I think I have a pretty good idea of the foundation of the issues at hand.

      But, if it wasn’t for Annie’s video, I wouldn’t have known where to start the discussion. This is all really useful. Even the failures of logic.

      Now…that being said, I don’t think this kind of useful discussion would have ever been started anywhere in the MSM. So thanks POV! I love you long time!

      • nellie says:

        What I like about this debate is that there are good intentions on all sides. So much better than debating health care with the GOP screaming about death panels.

  2. PepeLepew says:

    Last year, there was a huge controversy in our town about “The Story of Stuff.” A teacher showed it to her class, and one of the kids in the class told their parents about it. The parents were right-wing fanatics and screamed bloody murder about it to the school board and they banned the teacher from showing the film again. There were a number of heated school board meetings over it in which a number of people came to the teacher’s defense. It is a very weak-willed and right-wing school board and it has not been the first time people (me included) have butted heads with them over their idiocy. It became such a big issue that one one the right-wingers on the school board got voted out over it and now the teacher can go back to showing the film in her class (because sane people now have a majority on the board.).

    Now, the movie has been shown in local art theatres and local libraries because all the controversy created so much interest in the movie. The right-wing jerk who made a big fuss over it ended up being his own worst enemy.

  3. KQuark says:

    FYI Krugman’s column yesterday discuses the importance of the climate change talks going on in Copenhagen.


    • nellie says:

      I like his comparison to the acid rain experience. My favorite part of the editorial:

      The truth is that conservatives who predict economic doom if we try to fight climate change are betraying their own principles. They claim to believe that capitalism is infinitely adaptable, that the magic of the marketplace can deal with any problem. But for some reason they insist that cap and trade

  4. AdLib says:

    Thanks for this link FrankenPC!

    I agree with KQ’s point and that a direct carbon tax is the way to go. As you and the video point out cap and trade is too easily manipulated to be consistently effective.

    Since it is indeed reliant upon regulation and depending on the country and what party is in power, that can vary greatly.

    Imagine if a Republican became president with Cap and Trade already in place, he could put coal industry cronies in as regulators and the whole concept…goes up in smoke.

    • KevenSeven says:

      What of it? The Rethugs can and will again hold the WH. Obviously. And they will put coal execs in charge of cap and trade.

      Short of eliminating elections, what do you propose?

      • AdLib says:

        A carbon tax is like income tax, it can be mathematically computed instead of trusting polluters to account for what they owe.

        That doesn’t mean a Republican President can’t refuse to enforce actions against those in violation though.

        • KevenSeven says:

          Which would be easiest and most effectively administered?

        • KQuark says:

          Adlib that is not exactly how cap and trade works. Just because I favor a direct tax, I still think cap and trade is the second best solution and does have some global advantages. Spain implemented a direct tax, it went too far and really hurt their economy while cap and trade costs actually work within the economic structure. I prefer the direct tax just because I think the US would not go that far but cap and trade is not a bad thing and polluters don’t have liberty to set their caps.

    • KQuark says:

      Cap and trade was in effect for under Bush to curb acid rain and while emphasis was taken away from clean air initiatives under Bush for the reasons you state because the cap and trade regulations were in place acid rain emissions were still reduced. The whole point of cap and trade and any other progressive policy like this is to change behavior of the polluters.

      I take exception to the video because it’s misleading. Cap and trade was not invented by Enron and GS. It was invented by progressives. Bring up the specter of the financial collapse is simply using scare tactics rather than looking at the policy as a whole.

  5. KQuark says:

    As a rebuttal this is Krugman’s economic analysis of cap and trade. I know the right and left are pushing back on cap and trade using anecdotal analysis but these oversimplified attacks do not take into account how well it has worked in the past and how the benefits outweigh the concerns.



  6. KQuark says:

    I would prefer a straight carbon tax but cap and trade has worked successfully in the past to stem emissions like those that create acid rain.

    A good cap and trade policy is not inherently bad and there are no past instances where cap and trade has led to a “bubble”. The bottom line is cap and trade will make it more costly for most dirty industries to pollute so no I’m not going to generalize and say cap and trade is inherently evil.

    I really don’t know when every imperfect solution became inherently evil in this country.

    • FrankenPC says:

      In my mind, “evil” is injected into the system when traders figure out how to profit and drive up costs. It’s inevitable. Something to do with the loopholes that no one can see until the process is in operation. It’s probably an inevitable part of capitalism.

    • FrankenPC says:

      It’s wrong because corporations, especially overseas lie about their carbon savings so they can trade them on the open market to make a buck.

      In the movie link I pasted above, one example is how a coal company can SAY they were going to increase 200% one year. But, to stem the flow of carbon emissions, they are only expanding 100%. The 200% increase was a baldfaced lie.

      Once again it comes back to regulation. Or the lack there of.

      Another interesting point the author makes is, why give all of that trade money back to people like Goldman Sachs? It should go directly into new energy research or to redevelop dwindling forests.

      • KQuark says:

        Corporations will always try to game the system but cap and trade is a progressive idea that has worked in the past. Sure we need to make sure as many loopholes are closed as possible but calling it evil is simply untrue. More importantly the bottom line is cap and trade has worked. In every region of this country the emissions that make acid rain have been reduced over 40% since cap and trade policy has been implemented in the 90’s.

        I would prefer more direct taxing of carbon like I said but most of the direct permit money generated will go to developing new technologies.

        • KevenSeven says:

          It is not as if a particular structure of regulations needs to be coined and then never adjusted.

          Obviously the corporations will try and succeed in gaming the system. It is the responsibility of Congress to stay ahead of the game.

          That and to give the agencies regulating the power to adjust. We can only accept the fact that at times the Rethugs will have both the WH and Congress. Like while the last Admin’s Justice Dept utterly politicized the Civil Rights Division. There will be periods when the forces of progress are in repose. Happily, that is not the current epoch.

          So let’s get the best form of C&P that we can, in place, and stay on our toes as the carbon industries try to flank the regulations.

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