Cap-And-Trade, Killed By (Lack Of) Consensus

There’s much commentary of course about the recent “death” of climate-change related cap-and-trade legislation in the US Congress (eg by Krugman, Douthat and Wasserman at the New York Times).

It is not straightforward to follow all the various, complex reasonings used to apportion blame. And is all that really necessary? At the end of the day, in a modern democracy bills are approved because a suitable majority of Parliamentarians votes for them. And such a majority only comes together because a consensus is built around each bill.

In this context, Walter Russell Mead’s “The Big Green Lie Exposed” makes perfect sense. In fact, who has actually tried to build a consensus in the USA regarding cap-and-trade? Those activists liberally accusing the rest of humanity of “denialism”? Or those promising a Nuremberg-style trial to all “dissenters”? Or those more or less explicitly trying to manipulate primal fears in order to change society wholesale?

In the Bible, Qohelet says: “Whoever watches the wind will not plant – whoever looks at the clouds will not reap“. Indeed.