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07/22/2007

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马红梅

The earth rotates from west to east,due to the inertia and the gravitation ,how can China pollute U.S

CCW

One can make a little prediction matrix for this issue. On the top would by "Substantial US Carbon Tax Policy Enacted: Yes/No" and on the side would be "mid-century CO2 concentrations kept below 'dangerous threshold' levels (lets say, 500ppm):Yes/No"

I think most people would agree that the worst result in the matrix would be yes on the policy and no for the effectiveness for then we would have reduced a present generation's quality of living and shifted production oversees without accomplishing the intended benefit for the future.

Avoiding this scenario is precisely why securing a global agreement is essential, since Kyoto-style semi-lateral action only serves to move energy-intensive activity to countries like China which have little incentive to control emissions.

The scope of any effective global policy would have to entail the banning of all energy exploration activity and the permanent retirement of a substantial quantity of existing proved fossil reserves unless the CO2 can be sequestered.

My prediction is that pill is simply too hard to swallow and an effective global agreement of the above nature is extremely unlikely. Unilateral energy-related taxes would be better applied towards whatever mitigation measures will be required to adapt to the environmental consequences as they arise.

St. Darwin Assisi's cat

Professors Becker and Posner have written wonderful articles on envionrmental policy, global warming concerns, economics, world actors...as an MPA student working on a coal fired power plant paper through Univeristy of Oklahoma this blog is timely. Having completed a 3300 mile trip through Great Basin National Park (northern Nevada) where 2 coal fired power plants are proposed (coal will have to be shipped from Wyoming), Montana, Waterton Peace Park, Alberta, Canada, Wyoming and Utah the benefits of clean air were daily observed and enjoyed. A lady with whom I spoke in a Jackson Hole WY Dollar Store was buying many coloring books for an orphanage in Beijing China where she is a volunteer (an aside: she said she can't find coloring books in China....on every corner is Dollar Store merchandise but no coloring books). She said when dignatairies come into Beijing the city shuts down the coal plants to stop the immediate air pollution. The government does not want the 'important people' to know how bad their air quality really is....also the people with whom I spoke in a Jackson Hole house of worship said their town did not vote for the current ticket and the people are not happy with the current vice president's involvement in drilling for natural gas 60 miles south of Jackson Hole....I am proud to say that my university has developed and uses wind power advertising their choice on the school's web site....thanks for continued great writing and thoughts. I think if all public school children would read this blog on a weekly basis and read Posner's books they would have a GREAT education.

Josh Taylor

To the first comment here: Pollution can move from China eastward towards the U.S. in the same way that weather patterns move from west to east. It may seem counter-intuitive but check your facts before you challenge a published source.

Jake

Judge Posner's apparent acceptance of the hysteria over the supposed contribution of human economic activity to global warming is a disappointment.

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