A Cape-and-trade system is at the core of the house version of the American Clean Energy Security Act passed on Friday. I know very little about climate change science and even less about cap-and-trade economics, but something strikes me as strange about this whole system. Isn’t it still only addressing the symptoms and not the cause? Ultimately, the reduction of carbon emitting lifestyles in America will lead to larger reductions in CO2 emissions. The bill does establish a 2020 target for America to have 20% of it’s power generated by renewables. Which seems like a good start, but is it enough? Just as the Huffington Post article points out what is missing, I would like to question if true, long term solutions are being considered. Why is urbanism not discussed as a viable solution to our environmental crisis? Rather then figuring out what to do with the carbon created by our car-centered American lifestyle, why not focus on how to stop producing the carbon all together. The last time I checked, walking wasn’t a tax and was good for both you and the environment. Now, why hasn’t the form of our built environment been called into question? I share Al Gore’s excitement over this “extraordinary moment“, and yet I fear real solutions to our global challenge have not yet been broadly discussed.
Faith Cable has an article over at Worldchanging on cities and climate change.