Paul Krugman: An Affordable Salvation

Krugman, the Nobel Laureate in economics says we can afford a cap and trade policy on carbon emissions-

An Affordable Salvation by Paul Krugman. New York Times op ed

Congress is debating the climate change bill right now. Cap and trade is a market based method of controlling carbon emissions. That means “free market” conservatives will probably support it, right? Think again.

It’s amusing to see the conservative distortion of Krugman’s position. Take this right wing Idaho blog, for example, Krugman on Climate Change Costs. Right Mind.

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If climate change efforts prove too costly, it won’t be because of mechanisms like cap and trade, or my preference, pollution taxes. It will be because the no carbon energy technologies adopted prove to have too many harmful environmental or national security defects, such as building huge, remote solar farms, conected to “the grid” by long, new transmission lines.






  1. pc Avatar

    Krugman is clueless and has junk ideas. Enough with the spinning the crap and trade nonsense. The Feds want another tax source and this will be it. Both Dems and Reps love this new potential tax source to fund reelection projects. They don’t care about saving resources. If they really want to reduce the use of fossel fuels then raise taxes on the offenders and use that $ to help fund research in newer energy technologies. Lets not make a monopoly game out of protecting the environment. Crap and trade will not encourage any business to innovate. They will raise the cost of energy supplied to customers to offset revenue losses created by crap and trade. This is how it works, Krugman needs a lesson in economics. My 10 yr. old understands this simple concept.

    Most people know that protecting the environment offers little or no profit for anyone, but it must be done and it is the Feds job to do it. Stop the spin and lets start developing technologies to move away from fossel fuels. We are not there yet. Solar, wind, hydro whatever lets work on it. I have no problem paying extra in taxes for that cause.


  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Your post is clueless. Cap and trade is not a tax. It is an alternative to taxing pollution.

    As for myself, I think a pollution tax is more likely to work efficiently; but cap and trade is supposed to appeal to “free marketeers,” although I strongly suspect it won’t.

    The distinction between tradable permits to pollute under a cap — cap and trade — is a basic concept in environmental economics. It is presupposed folks know the difference.

    I suggest you read a little bit about it in a neutral source (such as a textbook) before you comment.

    This link might help you start to learn something, although it is not part of a textbook and it takes a position against cap and trade.

  3. pc Avatar

    Sorry Ralph I respect you, but if the Feds obtain revenue from the emissions permits sold to the business in the first place that is a tax. It is revenue the Feds obtain from the business. Sure after purchase the businesses can manage their permits as according to their emission output. As I posted earlier, I am very much in favor of the pollution tax or I would like to call it an energy research tax. Just something I think would be great to see so we know this revenue is going only to clean energy research.


  4. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Thank you, Paul

    I prefer the revenues raised go to energy research too as well as compensation to those persons, businesses, environmental processes etc. harmed by carbon dioxide emissions.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan