Monday, January 29, 2024

#29 / Cap And [Be]trayed

The State of California claims that it is a leader in dealing with our global warming / climate crisis. However, I call the premises on which California's claims are based, "Cap and [Be]trayed." I will first provide a very quick report how the state's "Cap and Trade" system works, and then alert those reading this blog posting to something they can do to help fix a major problem.

The image above illustrates the so-called "Cap and Trade" system which current California law allows. Overall greenhouse gas emissions are "capped." That's Step #1. That's fine - although a tighter "cap" would be desirable. 

However, there is a Step #2, and that second step represents a fundamental betrayal of the state's efforts. Some greenhouse gas emitters are below the "cap." Others are above it. California allows those emitters that are "above" the cap to "buy" emission reduction credits from those that are "below" the cap. 

As you can deduce from the illustration, above, this system lets greenhouse gas polluters "off the hook." Instead of reducing their emissions, to meet the applicable cap, they give money to those who do meet the cap, and thus such major greenhouse gas emitters do not have to reduce their own emissions. The public thinks that the state's regulations are designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the maximum extent possible (which is really what we need to do). The public, however, has been "betrayed." The current system doesn't do what people think it does.

If global warming were a world-threatening crisis, this would, clearly, be a very bad way to address it, since the state's "Cap and Trade" system allows big greenhouse gas emitters to "pretend" they're doing something, while they are not, in fact, taking action directly to reduce emissions. Major polluters are excused from making changes that they otherwise would have to make - and that they actually could make.

If my explanation is clear enough, you will understand why I have titled today's blog posting the way I have - "Cap and [Be]trayed."


A group called the "California Climate Voters PAC" is sponsoring a statewide initiative measure that would increase the state's target for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and remove a current requirement that the state use a "Cap and Trade" program to meet emission reduction targets. 

The proposed initiative measure needs to collect signatures to qualify for the ballot. You can ask online for a petition to be sent to you. I did. I hope you will, too - and then sign the petition, get your friends and family to sign it, and then promptly return the signed petition in the postage-paid envelope that will come with the petition. 

1 comment:

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