Carbon Trading is a Scam

Unlike most liberals, Peter DeFazio gets it.

For a particularly egregious example of just how wrong the outcomes of carbon trading can be, consider how it is enabling indigenous people in Chiapas who live very modestly being moved off their land so that Californians can continue their fossil-fuel-intensive lives unchanged.

If you want a modest first step that can easily fit within Establishment politics, it would be a carbon tax (levied at the point of purchase of any fossil fuel), not casino capitalist games with “trading” carbon emissions. Worries about such as scheme being regressive taxation or leading to growth of government can be addressed by making it an “untax“: a revenue-neutral tax that simply goes into a trust fund which is refunded to all equally on a per-capita basis. Wastrels will end up losing, and the carbon-thrifty will be rewarded; the poor will tend to come out winners simply because they can’t afford to consume much, even though they might spend a higher percentage of their income on fossil fuels than the non-poor.

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