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China Cap-and-Trade Program Not What the Climate Needs


China Cap-and-Trade Program Not What the Climate Needs

Wenonah Hauter

The reported move by China to enact a cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions will not begin to solve our climate crisis. Pollution trading signifies a dangerous reliance on the market to address a problem that only a decisive move away from fossil fuels and to renewables can truly solve.

Through a system of ‘credits’ and dubious and unverifiable offsets, cap-and-trade programs essentially create a commodity out of pollution, allowing for financial corporations to profit from polluting industries.


This is yet another know-it-all writer who focuses on fossil fuels. See Cowspiracy on Netflix. We can get to 100% wind and solar electrical generation and the planet will still die. It is animal agriculture that is destroying the earth. The meat industry funds all of these big environmental groups who keep screaming that we have got to stop using fossil fuels. That keeps the spotlight off the meat industry. Unless meat consumption is drastically reduced, we are all dead. Common Dreams needs to stop publishing these articles that ignore the 500 pound gorilla in the room. Over half of all greenhouse gases come from the meat industry and no one is pointing out that fact. It is sickening to read yet another article that stupidly announces that fossil fuels are the problem. Yes, fossil fuels produce about 17% of greenhouse gases but stop ignoring that gorilla, will you? Until we go to a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle, everything else we do is meaningless. When will Common Dreams and the self-proclaimed progressives who visit this site wake up? Watch the movie and tell me we don't need to change our diet. Articles like this entirely fail to educate the public and play into the hands of the industry that is the driving source of climate change.


In this age of disinformation it's impossible to know if posters truly are sincere ONE-issue commentators, or if their job profiles recover that "level of commitment." In either case, you could easily construct you comment as a complement to the article's focus rather than as competitive with it. YOU set up a "with us or against us," frame in insisting that it's meat-eating alone that is responsible for so much damage. Wouldn't it be more intelligent and ecologically "cost-effective" to suggest an end to both fracking and the excess meat consumption that has been inculcated into modern nations as part of a distorted notion of "development" and/or "prosperity"? To that list one could add: drive less, bike, ride-share, or walk; consume less food, use less water, recycle whatever you can, purchase clothing, furniture, books, etc. at thrift shops. Etc.

These all build on one another and are ecologically wise practices. One need not structure one act as competitive with another. THAT is how yang-Mars-rules operates... it fixes on rank, and sets up winner-loser propositions.


I never said that meat eating was the only problem and that eating ethically is the only solution. I merely point out that the mainstream keeps ignoring the number one problem and you have to find fault with everything so you put words in my mouth. The ignored meat problem is so huge that it dwarfs all the other stuff yet everyone wants to focus on the other stuff because they don't want to face the facts that their own food choices are the number one problem.


Job profiles? Sincere? I am a recently retired registered patent attorney and I have no job profile. Want to know if my comments are sincere? Visit my website howtopracticezen.com.


I'm happy to see this, after Kumi Naidoo's inane comments on the subject here


There are dinghies

And just plain dingy.


It amazes me how few people actually check the data about cap and trade. It is a scam and unfortunately it continues to be used as an excuse to pollute. Now China joins the other industrial big polluters and gets to claim reductions that don't actually exist except on paper.

Let's make a deal and everybody go to Paris together on this one boys!

People do not even understand how the process is supposed to work. They'll tell you to go visit some cap and trade site and 'look for yourself'. Yeah okay thanks but how come they can't explain how it works? Is it that complicated?

If you claim an offset for say 600 million metric tons of carbon does that mean that 600 million tons were removed from being added to the atmosphere?

No it does not. The 600 million metric tons of carbon will continue to be added to the atmosphere but they will be 'offset'.

Herein lies the rub. Ask them to explain what is meant by an offset and they cannot. Ask them will the 600 million metric tons of carbon be stopped from entering the atmosphere by these offsets and you find out that it won't be stopped. So how does cap and trade work then if it doesn't actually reduce the carbon being added to the atmosphere?

An offset ("if they are even plausible" <<< think about that phrase) can be a forest. How does that work you might ask? The government decides this forest earns un-pollution credits which can be sold to polluters so that they can keep producing that 600 million metric tons of carbon BUT the government can say that it has reduced the total production of carbon by 600 million metric tons.

Yes the 600 million tons is still being produced but with the magic of cap and trade, the government can say that it reduced the overall production of carbon because that 600 million tons were offset by pollution credits.

Thus 600 million tons of carbon are added to the atmosphere will be offset by carbon credits and the result will be that 600 million tons of carbon added to the atmosphere just like before.

This is progress and the preferred solution to meeting agreed upon reductions in carbon promised at previous climate summits.

Cap and Trade is a con game. Polluters buy permission slips to keep polluting. There are no reductions in the carbon being produced. Nevertheless because of the trickery, governments can claim that they have reduced the amount of carbon their countries produce.


I can't claim any expertise on the effectiveness of cap-and-trade but it is certainly a welcome step on the part of The Chinese government, which at least acknowledges the reality of climate change. And combined with the rational view of Pope Francis on climate change, this should be a moment when the U.S. could move forward on this issue. Pessimists may be right that our corporate-dominated U.S. system will never act on climate, but the general consensus on even the most controversial issues can change - as is evident in the rapidity with which gay rights and marriage have become acceptable.

The poster above who observed that animal-based agriculture is also a huge threat to the atmosphere is quite correct and, of course, overpopulation is also critical - something that the pope would not address. But to stay on a hopeful note, the fight for women's equality and unrestricted access to abortion is also a fight to save the earth's climate. The same goes for the battle against plutocracy, most clearly enunciated here by Bernie Sanders, and is also part of the same struggle. The ultra-wealthy, particularly those featured as celebrities, not only prevent effective steps to rein in the fossil fuel economy but set an example for wasteful consumption that is offered as a model of an ideal human life for the rest of us. The day may yet come when a woman like Dorothy Day is better known than Kim Kardashian.


You are a phony and you keep trying to confuse and mislead people. You couldn't explain how cap and trade works if you tried but you claim it works.

You are something else. Cap and trade doesn't reduce emissions. It is an accounting/tabulating system only. Emissions are assigned a label in effect where a certain amount of carbon pollution is classified as non-pollution ON PAPER. The ACTUAL amount of carbon being produced is not reduced at all. That is the whole point of cap and trade. The polluters pay to get credits that will allow them to continue polluting but the state can claim that the overall average emissions have decreased ON PAPER. The actual amounts produced do not decrease.

I've explained this to you several times. Why don't you explain how the actual amount of carbon that is produced is reduced in actuality not on paper but in real amounts. In millions of tons produced >>> actual tonnage... not on paper.


The fossil fuel industry supports cap and trade. You are a strange person. Why the constant disinformation campaign? What are your motivations for deceiving people? A lot of people accuse others of being paid shills usually with little justification but you are very consistent and overtly spreading misinformation and doing so purposefully (not by accident).

So explain to people how cap and trade works if I am wrong?

Also a quote supporting your allegation that the fossil fuel industry is an obstacle to cap and trade... lol. They more or less invented it and promote it on their websites.


See you repeat the same line again (almost word for word). I ask you to explain how cap and trade works and you can't do it yet you want't people to believe it works. So what is so hard about explaining it then?

It doesn't work and anyone going to that site and attempting to wade through all the graphs and propaganda looking for concrete information soon (takes about an hour) realizes that they do not provide actual data. The site just announces that the goals they set using the offsets they allocated and assigned are met. Actual carbon produced at each and every one of those fossil fuel (mainly coal) plants remains exactly the same.

In other words if a coal fired plant produces say 3.5 million tons of carbon per year without cap and trade >>> it will still produce 3.5 million tons of carbon per year but with cap and trade it can be averaged in as producing only 2 million tons. Understand? The 3.5 million tons is still produced every year but it gets put down in the record as less because of those offsets auctioned off by the state. It is a con game. It doesn't actually reduce pollution.

China is adopting an accounting/reporting trick so that it can go to Paris or the next conference and report that their emissions have been reduced when in actuality they will not have been.

You say it then prove it yourself. Name one site where you can show the where actual emissions were reduced. You are absurd. That is the point of cap and trade. That polluters pay to be allowed to continue polluting.

So show us then. Show us what you claim. You can't and won't because it is disinformation and a lie.


Thank you for your excellent post. Cap 'n trade = scam-o-rama.
Carbon credits, yeah that sure helps! not.
Stop creating the effing pollution in the FIRST place. The monetizing of everything has gone w a y to far...and all of it is phoney baloney.


Once again you can't explain how cap and trade works. Nor can you even quote actual figures. The only thing you can do is to tell people to go to some cap and trade site and read the propaganda. Well I did which is why I know that you can't explain how it works. Lol. The fact is that it is a con game and like most con games the devil's in the details and when you can't even get the details... how can you tell if it is working?

You've been challenged several times about your claims and we all await your backing them up at least once. I would love to hear how you would explain how it works (you can use actual figures of how much reduction in emissions is created by buying cap and trade permission to pollute credits.

Don't you ever get embarrassed?