Are we going to see internationally enforced "Carbon Laws"?

I believe that global warming is real and efforts to stop it are worthy. But I am starting to worry that in the name of preserving the environment, flat-out ceilings on economic activity are going to be mandated on the world, economic consequences be damned. “Want to drive your own car? Too bad, the Emission Quota for the year has been used up. Thinking of buying a dishwasher? Remember your local power utility imposes a monthly kilowatt-hour per person limit on households.” This is the sort of thing that formerly only people stockpiling a bunker in the Rockies used to rant about. Now I keep hearing more and more radical rhetoric about how absolutely imperative it is that global warming MUST be stopped NOW by ANY means…
From time to time on this board, I have tossed out the phrase “Eco-Socialism”, partly as a slur and partly in seriousness. Now I’m worried it isn’t paranoia anymore.

You seem to assume that economic growth and carbon emissions are irrevocably tied together. They are not.

Mind you, the longer we continue to drive our economic growth with power produced by carbon emissions, the more likely your mandated restrictions scenario is. The sooner we can switch to solar the less likely it is that will happen.

Dude, the US won’t even sign on to Kyoto and you’re worried about “the World” mandating something on you? Tropical Lion Faced Tamarinds will party at the North Pole first…

Relax, it’s still paranoia. :slight_smile:

The people who make the remarks above have the same grasp on reality as those that prophesy the End of the World.

As far as I know, Bush hasn’t signed up to Kyoto and there’s no sign of the Chinese stopping their rapid expansion either.

As for Socialism :eek: , we have this in Europe. It doesn’t mean what you imply - here in the UK we have a National Health system for example.


It seems the general model used by most places to limit CO2 emissions is simply to develop some scheme that makes it more expensive to do so. So I doubt anyone will tell you you’ve driven your car to much and you can’t drive it anymore this week or something, but at some point the cost of doing so will hit a point where your forced to drive less (or spend less money on something else).


P.S. Is it really true that ‘socialist’ and ‘liberal’ are practically insults in US politics?

Not for me, but among a certain population of knuckle draggers they seem to be…

ETA: Particularly “Socialist”. Any program or person declared to be socialist is doomed. Its like a phobia over here. Undercover FBI agents are known to outnumber members at some Socialist Party meetings.

It depends on how bad things get. If, for example, Florida ends up underwater, I expect that you’d end up with draconian restrictions on anything that produces greenhouse gases. Of course by then it’ll be too late.

And as far as the international community enforcing laws on the US goes; if things get bad enough, you’'ll see things like a worldwide embargo on American trade, regardless of the economic consequenses.

I would hope not, but it almost seems like people are starting to advocate “eliminate sources of CO2 now and worry how to replace them later; and if you can’t, too bad”.

A lot of people are advocating it, yes, but I doubt they will gain much traction. Even for moderate environmentalists, whether something is economically viable is a major concern.

The fear of socialism and the ability to correctly define socialism appears to be inversely proportional.

No you won’t, there will still be plenty of people yelling about how the science is not conclusive and that the liberal media bias is making it seem worse than it really is.

My, you are the wide eyed optimist aren’t you?

So it’s kind of like opinions? The less people know about something the stronger their opinion about it seems to be…

Honestly, you are suffering from a little case of Chicken Littlism, don’t worry, many of my fellow Greens do also.

No reasonable proposal from anyone worth taking seriously is proposing what you mentioned in the Op. The basic idea boils down to making fossil fuels cleaner by pricing them up to the point through carbon caps or carbon taxes to make it better business to build clean power plants and very low emission vehicles using a variety of technologies.

Electric, hybrids, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen will replace the old fashion ICE engine.

There will be a push to use more hydro-electric, nuclear and any other carbon free systems.

There will be proposals to protect the remaining rain forests. The concept being that an international group of developed countries will buy up large portions of the Amazon, Africa and Indonesia.

The World will also need to strive to share more efficient technologies as soon as possible.

There might be some seemingly draconian laws passed however. Rumors that incandescent bulbs will be phased out in favor of fluorescent and LED would appear to have some truthiness.


God, I’m just hoping for something modest, like (say) not exempting SUVs used to drive kids to soccer practice from CAFE standards, which is one of the most idiotic things our congress does. Given Congress’ inability even to take modest steps like that, I don’t think you have to worry about anything drastic. You know, until rising waters make coastal cities like Boston, NYC, Miami, New Orleans, Houston, LA, San Francisco, etc., etc., etc., untenable, and horrific measures are forced on us. But hey, why settle for an ounce of prevention today when you can get yourself on the hook for several metric tons of cure in the future?

Do I sound bitter?

I’m sure the political/corporate establishment in the developed world will cut themselves off at the knee via self inflicted economic anti-carbon legislation. Anyday now.

I have met in real life people advocating dropping nuclear weapons in Iraq. I’m not worried about this happening because they are random yahoos with zero influence on how decisions are made in this country.

What utter nonsense.

Then you better hope electricity generation is vastly improved, and electricity distribution undergoes a sea change. Generation could be improved if the selfsame Greens clamboring for electric cars would do the self-consistent thing and advocate for nuclear as well. I think that is actually happening.

Distribution, on the other hand, will be a sticking point. It’s very easy for people living in New York City, where you can mention blackouts by year, to imagine everyone in the country has ConEd’s level of competence when it comes to squirting juice around. People in Montana know a lot better. Every serious storm comes with at least brief blackouts, and I certainly would not want to trust my primary mode of transportation to such unmitigated lossage as the power company around here seems to be made of. Tesla’s broadcast power idea is nonviable, so improving the transmission lines is paramount. That, or people out here get cheap, not-all-that-clean diesel generators.

Likely at the expense of trees and other carbon-sequestering plant life, even if you ignore all of the people forced out of their homes. (It’s For The Greater Good. Now move along before we get the guys with M-16s and grenade launchers.) Dams aren’t consequence-free. Plus, how many more rivers can we dam?

Care to elaborate? Or, in other words, you got nothing. WWLS?(What would Lovecraft say?)

Nope. They’ll hang on to the status quo, ignoring the problem in denial or hoping to be out of office or a miracle. Which will make the problems that much worse in the long run, and makes drastic laws in reaction that much more likely. And will break the economy and their economic power in the process, most likely; it’ll be the people who come after they are voted out/lose everything/get killed by mobs that write the laws.

I’m not sure you really read my post. I mentioned nuclear with hydro.

I am not a fan of hydro, I actually prefer the nuclear option, but the reality would seem to indicate that more of both will be done. The proposals to build new, far cleaner coal plants will be a viable and I believe a rapidly developed option.

Of course the Holy Grail of clean energy will be fusion, but I fear we will not harness that in the next 50 years.

Solar and wind can help, but they can only be part of the puzzle. Solar promises some exceptional improvements in price in the coming decade. I hope for all of our sakes, they come to fruition.