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Economic Bail Out: Can the Climate Crisis and Carbon Trading Play Major Roles?

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The Administration in its swan song performance is still holding us captive to fossil fuel. This stranglehold sadly has devastated the once vibrant US economy, and dictated our foreign policy. We are engaged in a war that has drained the coffers, and sent our President off to borrow debt around the world. It's not a pretty, like Little Red Riding Hood going to visit the Big Bad Wolf, and getting devoured in the process. It is too easy to blame the latest collapse of the US financial institutions solely on their mortgage portfolios. Indeed, these toxic portfolios have played their part, but corruption, lack of market transparency and, the proverbial hand in the cookie jar are all culpable.

Trading carbon would have diminished the monies siphoned off to the oil buddies. Fully embracing alternative and renewable energy investments would have meant less for all of them. Greed dictated our national energy policy. The cronies kept their heads down and their hands in their pocketbooks and our wallets.

Cap-and-trade embodies a new commodities marketplace with new instruments to monetize and commodities to trade. Modeled on the US Acid Rain programs from the 1990 Clean Air Act that monitors emissions from electrical power plants, cap-and-trade offers new ways to drive monies into the economy. And here this country sits on the sidelines almost a decade twittering their thumbs. It's sheer lunacy.

The countries of the European Union are buying and selling carbon under the European Trading Scheme (ETS). London (UK) is becoming the financial center for carbon trading and investments. And to add insult to injury, the Senate Republicans used the filibuster this year to halt progress on federal mandates for cap-and-trade.

The climate crisis can help the economic bail out. The infighting among special interest groups must stop. This will take a village and a shopping cart full of solutions from fossil fuel to nuclear (gulp), and maybe a bit of clean coal, along with renewable and alternative energy investments. There is no way around it because we dropped the ball over the last eight years. We need to get back to the table and bring world class leadership to a global carbon consortium. We need to invoke mandatory regulations in this country, and bully China and India to get on the program. How can this work without the three largest countries and emitters involved?

Trading carbon is only part of the economic bail out. But it could be a big part of the future once standards are adopted. Invest in alternatives and renewable energy sources. Mandate rural recovery programs to rebuild our states-- much like those available to developing nations under Kyoto. Bring jobs back. And grab back the financial power from London to New York.

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