Have to say, I've always been skeptical of the whole "cap & trade" idea. Back in the 2008 election, when everyone from Jack Layton to Stephen Harper was prattling about how hard to understand the Green Shift was with its carbon tax, I kept wanting to say, "Okay, smart guy, how'll one of those cap & trade schemes you're offering as an alternative work?" None of the candidates came to my door in 2008, so never got to ask that. And the mainstream media never bothered to ask them about it either. The election seemed to be so much about tearing down the Green Shift regardless of the merits of what it was proposing.
Well, congratulations, guys. Mission accomplished.
Anyway, the people who made the Story of Stuff animation, have put together a new video called the Story of Cap and Trade. They do a pretty good job of explaining how the system works. And they do an excellent job of highlighting the serious problems with cap and trade. (I find the tone of the narration a little irritating, though.) Turns out -- surprise, surprise -- cap and trade is awfully complicated and some really nasty problems can be hidden in the fine print. And it looks like cap and trade is just another scam by financiers to make a pile of bucks without providing much in the way of benefit to society.
Not being an expert on such things, I can't say if any of the cap and trade schemes proposed for Canada are as corrupt as the one examined in this animation. But this makes me pretty damn skeptical that any cap and trade system could be the magic solution to our carbon problems.
I still can't help but think that taxation is the easiest way to put a fair price on carbon. I wouldn't even demand it be a revenue-neutral sort of deal. Pity that idea's been pretty much scuttled in this country... at the federal level, at least.