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Posted Tue Dec 16 2008: from Guardian (UK):
Emissions: Where do you draw the line?
Supporters of this system say that a cap-and-trade, market-based solution is the only realistic way a reduction in global emissions will ever be achieved. Carrots are always better than sticks, they say. But in such a world, it will be rare for a distinction to be made between why emissions were created in the first place. There will be a market-determined price to pay for emitting a tonne of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but no one will be asking why you emitted it as long as you pay the going rate. But is it beyond our collective wit to also judge our energy use against a set of criteria that gives extra weighting to our essential and most worthy needs?... But who is going to draw that line between essential and non-essential use? What, for example, would you place into the "essential" trolley? Two thousand miles' worth of petro-fuelled driving a year? Enough energy to heat your living room to 18C during winter?
[Read more stories about: anthropogenic change, smart policy, bad policy]

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'Doc Jim says:
Maybe... a benign tyrant? A philosopher-king? Do we have the collective wit?

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