Watch all of the people attack him because of his lack of “pragmatism”. After all, the Republicans would never allow it, right? Those people seem to miss very obvious things, like, how did Republicans get that power to begin with when their policies are so deeply unpopular? How could the Democrats fail to push for solutions to an issue that poses an actual threat to our species? Talk about an abdication of leadership. Could it be that the Democrats lack a coherent alternative that they push for, that their corruption doesn’t allow them to push for policies their donors don’t approve of, and because of the impact of the policies that the mediocre and corrupt politicians that organizations like the DCCC and the donors behind those organizations have pushed for, people in large numbers are simply not voting. So, a context exists where everything continues to get worse and there is no real solution within the political system to reverse course. Global warming could result in the end of human civilization, and Obama’s lack of true leadership on the issue, and the lack of leadership among the politicians in power, is damning. The people of this country and the world deserve better than what this economic system, and what our political system and these two rotten parties offer. Given the impact our country has globally, the utter failure of this political system has worldwide implications, and since the Democrats are the only party with a chance to actually do something on the issue, their failure as a party is monumental. Obama’s children, Pelosi’s children and grandchildren have no other planet to escape to. You’d figure that would get them to re-think not only their decisions, but the policies they have long supported, which have undermined environmental stewardship in countless ways. Yeah, they did some decent things here and there, more than the Republicans have done, but their support for particular policies far more than negated any good those policies caused.
A carbon tax is better than cap and trade programs though. It isn’t nearly enough by itself, but it would be a lot harder to escape than cap and trade programs. Cap and trade programs, if they worked in practice as they do in theory, would result in progressively fewer credits being on the market, which would drive up the price of carbon pollution. However, in every single cap and trade program (not counting the SOx cap and trade program here, which was radically different for a number of reasons), there are always too many credits in the system, there are always too many offsets, credits are almost always given away free to the worst polluters and corruption is rife throughout the system. So, it is a fake solution in practice, where neoliberal politicians can pretend to be doing something that they know isn’t going to have much of a positive impact. In the EU’s system, carbon credits have been hovering around $10, sometimes much lower. Right now, I think, about $14. If I am not mistaken, it is estimated that the credits would have to be at least $40 or so to engender any real cuts in carbon emissions.