SEARCH BLOG: ECONOMY and POLITICS
If your goal is change, you make your move when what you want to change is weakest.
The Democratic Party has vowed to change our energy and transportation sectors into what I call the "California Model." More specifically, the San Francisco Model. This is built on the assumption that humans should be restricted:
- in their power to manage their environment,
- to small geographies... preferably high-density urban settings,
- and to minimal energy consumption.
This is accomplished by erecting barriers to:
- electricity production
- fuel production
- vehicle production
until the San Francisco Model is met. This Model requires:
- non-fossil fuel sources of electricity
- non-fossil fuel sources of fuel
- vehicles that do not use fossil fuels
Then what's the issue here; why are some other people so reluctant to change? Two words: the means. At issue is whether the means justify the ends. Should the means include "bankrupting coal?" Should the means include artificially restricting supply of fuel? Should the means include forcing manufacturers and consumers to use technologies that are very expensive and possibly unmarketable at a price necessary to cover costs?
At present, every alternative source of energy and fuel requires massive governmental or business subsidies. Every alternative source of energy to fossil fuels is either erratic, unreliable, or far more expensive. Nuclear power is as or more reliable than fossil fuels for electricity production, but does not meet the San Francisco politically correct test... and it has been an expensive alternative.
It appears that either bankrupting or the threat of bankrupting old energy and old transportation is the preferred means to achieve the San Francisco Model. While this might be an economic inconvenience for tens of millions of non-San Franciscans, it can be effective in achieving the ends.
Well, it doesn't take long for a "good" idea to get around. From The New Republic:
As it turns out, a recession isn't a bad time to get started on climate legislation. Even if Congress raced to pass a cap-and-trade bill in 2009, it would take some time--likely a few years--just to set up a complex new regulatory regime. Moreover, as David Wheeler, a climate-policy expert at the Center for Global Development, points out, an economic slump actually offers a prime opportunity to start trading: If Congress sets the initial economy-wide cap at pre-recession levels, then pollution permits will be exceedingly cheap as long as the economy--and hence energy use--is still shrinking. (Indeed, the downturn in Europe has caused the price of carbon to hit rock-bottom levels.) This would give companies time to learn the system and plan for the future without being assailed right away by high prices.... a complex new regulatory regime ... now that's the ticket to prosperity.