Dean Gus Speth on the Efficacy of the Cap and Trade System

Question: Will a cap and trade system reduce greenhouse gasses?

Gus Speth: Well, I think we need to do two things. We desperately need a cap and trade system. I agree with that very much and, you know, glad that most of the proposals in the Congress now for action on climate are cap and trade proposals. I think the design of that system matters, as much as the general concept does. So I would hope that we would have a system that went very far upstream, so to speak, to right when the carbon entered the economy that it covers essentially all of the carbon and other greenhouse gases as they–- you know, their sources; that we auction the allowances of the right to emit carbon and take that money and use it for good purposes. And if we do it the right way with-- you know, and have tough phase down goals, it can make a huge difference. The risk is that Congress will come along and do its usual, you know, death by a thousand cuts to this proposal-- these proposals, and will end up with something which is not nearly as effective as it ought to be. That's a very real risk, which is another reason why we need a real grassroots political movement in the country. There's a group called One Sky, which is working with young people around the country and using well-established techniques of community organizing to engage people on the climate issue. And I am very proud to have a small association with them and I'm–- I think that's what we need. I'd also say though that this regulatory approach of cap and trade needs to be supplemented by a real expenditure of federal resources to be sure that the program's not regressive, that communities that need help get help, that new industries are created, that green collar jobs are created so that it becomes basically a program to sustain our communities and promote social justice in our country, at the same time that it's an environmental program.

Recorded: 3/23/08

 

 

Cap and trade legislation is in Congress: we will see what it looks like when it gets out.

Why Henry David Thoreau was drawn to yoga

The famed author headed to the pond thanks to Indian philosophy.

Image: Public Domain / Shutterstock / Big Think
Personal Growth
  • The famed author was heavily influenced by Indian literature, informing his decision to self-exile on Walden Pond.
  • He was introduced to these texts by his good friend's father, William Emerson.
  • Yoga philosophy was in America a century before any physical practices were introduced.
Keep reading Show less

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
Sponsored
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less
Photo: Shutterstock / Big Think
Personal Growth
    • A recent study from the Department of Health and Human Services found that 80 percent of Americans don't exercise enough.
    • Small breaks from work add up, causing experts to recommend short doses of movement rather than waiting to do longer workouts.
    • Rethinking what exercise is can help you frame how you move throughout your day.
    Keep reading Show less