The Dernogalizer

May 6, 2009

Washington Post Climate Column

Filed under: Energy/Climate — Matt Dernoga @ 12:43 am
Tags: , , ,

I’ve been blogging about the Markey-Waxman climate bill that’s in Congress quite a bit.  Since this is the most important piece of legislation in quite a long time, I plan on continuing to provide updates and commentary for as long as it’s being debated.  Today there was a great op-ed by two people dealing more in the economics and business of climate change than the science.  They talk about why passing a climate bill will not be the kind of burden on businesses that opponents make it out to be.  Here is the link.  Notable excerpts are posted below.

“The real cost of carbon emissions is far from zero. Each new scientific report brings proof of a changing climate that promises to disrupt agricultural patterns, set off a scramble for dwindling resources, raise sea levels, propel population shifts and require massive emergency spending as we try to react to the growing crises. These are the costs of inaction.”

“Ultimately, households and businesses care more about their total energy bill than costs per gallon or per kilowatt hour. Gas at $4 per gallon is cheaper in a car that gets 40 miles per gallon than $3-a-gallon gas in a clunker that gets 20 mpg. American entrepreneurial and research genius can move us to far greater energy efficiency quickly, using mostly existing technologies, when a carbon price rewards the effort.”

The cost of inaction is high and could be catastrophic. But, contrary to claims, the cost of switching to cleaner energy and dramatically lower emissions will spur competitive gains, cost far less and come much more quickly once we have set our goals, adjusted our incentives and corrected the market’s false signals.”

Kristen Sheeran is executive director of the Economics for Equity and the Environment Network, a nationwide group of economists focused on environmental policy. Mindy Lubber is president of Ceres, a national coalition of investors, environmentalists and public interest groups working with companies to address sustainability challenges.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            *Update*  Here is an article about some of these businesses including Nike threatening the Chamber of Commerce to stop opposing climate legislation.    


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