Todd and I were discussing the election, and our conversation turned towards the subject of greenhouse gases, but then to regulations and taxes in general. I asked him if I could share our conversation to show our two different, but intertwined points of view. I hope it makes sense and makes for interesting reading. It all came out of one conversation we had over chat, but I broke it up into five posts. Hope everyone enjoys it.
Robert: Meaning complying with Kyoto will do a lot of damage to our economy.
Robert: What we NEED is the Fair Tax, and then some serious deregulation.
Todd: I think that a modified Kyoto compact among more developed nations has to be implemented soon. The ability for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions MUST be coupled with aggressive public investment in private research into new technologies that can affordably and profitably bring our emissions lower. It is quite easy to draft a plan that works for developing nations who do not have the private energy infrastructure that the US of A has. What is more difficult and less palatable to the extreme environmentalist is that we have to make "going green" an attractive business proposition.
Todd: Once we do that, we now have solutions that businesses will be more than happy to accept tougher government standards for. Regulation must always be married with the benefit of the corporation in mind. To do so otherwise is to simply ignore human nature and is a recipe for policy failure.
Robert: Tell me honestly, are you suggesting you believe in Global Warming as a human-caused phenomenon?
Todd: I would not even approach Global Warming as an end goal to alter when we know that emissions have such harmful public health effects on even the smallest scale. Here in Phoenix as our population grows our per capita rates of Asthma-related hospital discharges have erupted.
Todd: Harmful emissions in our atmosphere are a public health concern that government rightly should be concerned with. We must carefully study climate change data and if we are to accept the postulate that global warming is being caused by anthropogenic emissions, and we know that these emissions constitute a public health threat even in the short term, then I believe we have steady ground on which to make policy changes. Even if we don't accept that global warming is anthropogenic, we should continue to fund research into it to be certain. We do know that period s of global warming are occurring now. We believe that they have occurred in the past. We disagree on its possible effects. We KNOW that carbon dioxide, ozone, nitrous oxide and particulate matter emissions are harmful to humans.
Todd: Let's start with what we know.... that's all I'm suggesting.
Robert: Right now, there is no viable alternative to oil that works on a large scale. Emission reduction must come as a function of the economy, or in the end, it will just continue to wreck our economy.
Robert: Right now our standard of living is being stilted by government policies regarding oil restrictions and emissions.
Todd: Well there are two schools of thought on this, and I'm not certain I'm willing to subscribe to one of the other. One school says that humans invariably are going to have to change their behavior if they want to change the amount of harmful emissions we generate. Okay, that sounds logical. The other says that maybe humans don't have to change their behavior if we simply bring the most serious offenders in line with newer technologies.
Robert: There's also the school of thought that humans are somewhat arrogant to assume they can truly influence the whole environment in the way people like Al Gore think we do.
(to be continued tomorrow)