The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a reflection of failed ‘Green’ policy, the shadow of an idea that doesn’t work on so many levels that even prominent members of the Green movement have begun soul searching over their own contradictions about the ideas which encouraged it’s genesis (and its goals) in the first place.
Perhaps the best, and most recent example, comes to us from Walter Russell Mead in his review of George Monbiot’s recent admission that "…because of a whole series of intellectual mistakes, the global green movement’s policy prescriptions are hopelessly flawed." A "thoughtful and brutally clear expose of the intellectual bankruptcy of the green movement from one of the smartest people in it."
Why is it always the really smart people who are so stupid?
Mead sums it up: "regardless of what is happening to Planet Earth, the green movement does not have coherent and workable solutions."
Greens like to have it both ways. They warn darkly about “peak oil” and global resource shortages that will destroy our industrial economy in its tracks — but also warn that runaway economic growth will destroy the planet through the uncontrolled effects of mass industrial productions. Both doomsday scenarios cannot be true; one cannot simultaneously die of both starvation and gluttony.
More, Monbiot also acknowledges the contradictory and inconsistent nature of the green solutions. He acknowledges that there is no prospect for democratic politics to impose the draconian limits on consumption and economic activity that green dogma requires. Every ‘solution’ the greens have come up with has a fatal flaw of some kind; none of it works, none of it makes any sense.
All of this is true, whether it comes from a prominent intellectual of the movement like Monboit, some dopey, indoctrinated public school kid, or say…a misguided New Hampshire State Senator who can’t read the writing on the wall and is afraid to educate his own constituents on the costs of failed policy. Policy whose expense and waste do not go down if we continue to pursue them.
We can waste hours discussing the minutia of our RGGI dreams and aspirations, and we have, but at the end of the day…"It doesn’t work." RGGI is bad policy. It is a failed relationship, based on a failed idea, with arguably good intentions, that some insist we must maintain simply because we are in it. Not exactly the kind of thinking you’d expect from the same camp of ideological purists who insist on no-fault divorce. But divorce is what we need. We have irreconcilable differences. So we should send Reggie the "breakup" text and just end it.
"You’re not who I thought you were. I’m sorry, but I just can’t see you anymore. Keep the T-shirts and just toss my tooth brush in the trash."
Or we could continue to tell ourselves lies and double down on this ecological equivalent of fiscal-spousal abuse knowing the entire time that nowhere in the short history of cap and trade has it ever succeeded at any of its stated goals unless the goals are job loss, redistribution of wealth to the friends of ‘insert name of party in power here,’ or the progressive over-taxation of everyone and everything that has, needs, or uses electricity–forever.
Maybe you’d like to be known as he who supports the tax on everything. But at least have enough of a spine to admit the facts. It is a tax on everything, and we are paying it for no good reason.
Or you could decide that you are serious about the goals, step back, and take stock of the failure that Cap and Trade is, and consider directing your energy toward a different set of solutions. Solutions we have not even thought of yet but that may require cheap abundant energy, a free market, and a country like America to husband it.
I know. It isn’t easy being green. But if you are serious about the goals have the sense to admit this policy will never achieve them. Whether it is this New Hampshire legislative session or next, just admit that is does not work so we can move on. And yes, some mistakes have costs, and they get bigger the longer government is involved, but since when did letting the mistake continue ever cost less?