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KMT RPS Aff

KMT RPS Aff

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Published by: AffNeg.Com on Jan 08, 2009
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10/16/2011

CONVENTIONAL ENERGY PRICES WILL CONTINUE TO RISE – OUR ECONOMY IS HEADED
FOR COLLAPSE WITHOUT A SHIFT AWAY FROM CARBON INTENSE ENERGY

ROBERTS 07-02-2008

[David, staff writer and PhD candidate, “Sane Climate Policy Will Save the
Economy”, THE HUFFINGTON POST,
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-roberts/sane-climate-policy-will_b_110480.html, Hayes]
This is properly the subject of a very long post that I don't have time to write right now. For now I'll just point out
that even the pessimistic economic models shaping debate in D.C. show a very small hit to the economy from a
cap-and-trade system. And those models make a number of absurd theoretical assumptions that are woefully
disconnected from reality. So-called "bottom-up" studies -- the ones that look at what actually happens in the world
-- consistently find that a push to renewables and efficiency generates economic growth and jobs. (Distributional
effects are another matter, but this is about the general case.)

And this becomes more and more true as energy costs rise. Oil, natural gas, and coal are all going up and are
almost certain to continue rising in the mid- to long-term, no matter the short-term volatility. As those prices rise
we're shoveling money out of our country into the pockets of oil regimes and paying to blow up our own
mountains. Every dollar that shifts from fossil spending to R&E spending generates comparatively more jobs,
keeps comparatively more money in the economy, and has comparatively more positive multiplier effects. Every
dollar that is saved by end-use efficiency moves investment from an extraordinarily low labor intensity sector
(fossil fuels) to a higher one (virtually anything else, but particularly renewables).

It is long past time to stop acceding to the absurd notion that money spent to avoid high fuel prices is just sunk
inflationary cost. It's not. It is investment in other things, and those other things will generate economic activity
and jobs.

The economy is headed for serious, serious trouble. Reducing our carbon intensity will reduce both energy demand
and energy prices and spur a wave of productive investment. Sane climate policy is not a burden to bear or castor
oil to choke down -- it's going to save our f*cking hides.

68

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