Tuesday, June 03, 2014

And The Crowd Goes Wild

The various objections to and defenses of Obama’s carbon cut, reducing carbon emissions from coal-fired electric plants by 2030, proves that our schools and colleges are no longer teaching the ability to use logic. Or that politics has rendered logic unpopular, which is somewhat more likely.

From Bloomberg, who unsurprisingly does not like the enforced reduction, we get that, “For one thing, the amount of the U.S. cuts would be replaced more than three times over by projected increases in China alone.”

Which would be meaningful only if China’s increase was made in response to our cuts and would be cancelled if we cancelled our cuts. Bloomberg is saying, in effect, that China is increasing only because we are making cuts, and would not increase if we did not make cuts. I know, that was so illogical that it was hard to follow. More simply put, China's increase has nothing whatever to do with out cutting carbon emissions.

Read the whole piece. There’s a “since we can’t cut carbon increase to zero, we shouldn’t try to reduce the rate of increase at all” content in there which is utterly insane.

Then Paul Krugman defends the carbon decrease by saying that doing so will cost a more 0.2% of GDP and that’s cheap. He’s pretty light hearted about it, but it’s kind of a short sighted and silly defense. The reduction affects the electric power generation very specifically, and as such affects only a portion of our economy. It doesn't affect the financial sector to any notable degree, and doesn’t markedly affect housing or transportation. The cost should be measured against the portion of the economy which is directly affected by it, and that cost is going to be a bit higher that 0.2%.

That’s not to say that I think it will be unaffordable or that I don’t think we should be willing to pay it. I think the carbon cut is a great idea and that we should be willing to pay what it costs to do so, but we should know what those costs are, not be bullshitted into thinking that there are none with the silly kind of crap that Paul Krugman is peddling.

It will, for one thing, reduce the coal industry a lot more than 0.2%; more like 80% which is the whole point of the measure. Tell the coal industry and the people who work in that industry that it won’t cost anything, Paul. It’s not free, it comes with a cost.

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