More on- Why I oppose the the American Power Act
Regarding the American Power Act, the Lieberman- Kerry bill in the Senate.
There are many in the middle environmental mix who say- support this bill because it is the best we can get now. Not only that, the Democrats will lose their ability to gather sufficient votes after the next election.
My first inclination is: something is better than nothing, but a somber thought is also present. Can I ignore reality to get a good feeling that we are actually moving forward?
Here is the reality:
The main emitters by far will be China and India. China is already the biggest emitter and increasing so rapidly. And China is actually doing nothing of substance to cut its GHG. All their emphasis on green technology will have minuscule impact and is basically to make money, not to reduce their GHG. They and India are working hard to build several hundred millions cars in each country. Their buildings are not insulated. Their main energy is and will be coal. Read the latest Sierra Club Magazine for examples. The amount of GHG from China over the next two decades would be five to ten times the total of the rest of the developed world even if we do not reduce it at all! We must grasp that whatever we cut in the US and Europe is insignificant as far as GW is concerned, but important for other reasons.
So, how do we impress China to cut its GHG by a very significant amount? We have the carrot and the stick options. We put carbon tax on their imports to us at the level equivalent to our own carbon tax. And we may have some "moral" influence if we actually do cut ours by such a large amount that we can show some suffering. They are not willing to reduce their drive for modernization and expect 200 millions additional rural Chinese to move to high-energy urban areas. Also, our leverage is becoming smaller all the time since they are driving now to reduce their dependence on exports and be more internal market oriented. With time they will achieve that since they will have the economic mass within their own borders.
By the time we and they realize that GW is already here and the evidence are overwhelming, it would be too late to do anything to stop the global heating.
I have high respect for the Chinese and am glad they had the Communist revolution and the one child policy. That would not be possible without the type of government they now have. Otherwise they would have been 400 millions more Chinese now demanding more and more energy. But we must accept that the Chinese are very clever and also devious people. The way we view morality [but do not really practice] is not practiced in china. They would not give an inch. They will look at every step they can take to get the maximum for themselves. As we are inclined to do also.
So? We must somehow find ways to truly cooperate to cut the ever increasing danger of not only GW but reducing the likelihood of catastrophic climate events.
How will this bill, which is environmentally a sham, could change the attitude of China and the rest of the world? They are not as stupid as most of the American public. Their media will point out clearly that we are cheating and we are cutting our GHG by only 4% vs. theirs 30%.
Can you give me a sound, realistic way that this bill should not be defeated?
It seems to me that the worst thing we can do, which this bill does, is lie to ourselves and attempt to lie to a world that would see very well through our lies.
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