by Tom Tanton, E&E Legal’s Director of Science and Technology Assessment
As Appearing in Canada Free Press
In a fiery speech to the American Geophysical Union conference, California Governor Brown continued his quest regarding climate change, but has apparently revealed a chink in his armor. He threatened incoming President Trump that California will go it’s own way if the Feds reconfigure national climate policy. Insisting that climate change remains the greatest existential threat to mankind, he insists the Paris accord be upheld and that other US States follow “California’s lead.” California’s Governor Brown and other elected leaders insist California exhibits model behavior.
But as a successful business man, Mr. Trump surely recognizes the difference between doing the right thing and doing the thing right. Putting aside for the time being whether reducing greenhouse gasses is ‘the right thing to do’ we focus here on whether government programs (from direct control to market-like actions such as carbon taxes) are “doing the thing right”. As the government’s own data shows, states with freer markets are performing better than states, like California, with heavy intervention and regulation when it comes to reducing greenhouse gasses. Relying more extensively, or exclusively, on the free market would provide a no regrets policy regardless of whether reducing greenhouse gasses are the right thing to do.