Part Deux – Questions in absentia (policy):
6) Will climate policies mitigate global warming, or merely hurt our economy and thus our ability to adapt? Can we offer proof that any policy such as taxes, caps, or renewable subsidies that would actually result in mitigation rather than symbolic gestures and a hobbling of the U.S. economy?
7) Can we guarantee that any federal taxes or caps will pre-empt other regulations and subsidies? Subsidies are generally viewed by economists as a special interest smorgasbord that keeps zombie industries dependent on taxpayers. Taxes or caps will have a much greater mitigation effect compared to subsidies. Will renewables subsidies and state regulations pass away with the implementation of a blanket federal policy that at least builds in the efficiencies of the market?
8) After any proposed tax or cap is implemented, can we guarantee that any US GDP growth dipping below 2 percent would trigger any taxes or caps to be rescinded?
9) How can we guarantee global unanimity for climate agreements? Where worldwide unanimity would be required to slow climate change, can we guarantee developing nations would not defect from global agreements — despite very strong incentives to do so? (For example, if China and India defect, climate change will get worse, no matter what we do – as energy companies will migrate to their shores and they’ll go right on emitting.)
10) Why not adaptation? Can we show conclusively that local-level adaptation to changing climate is be inferior to national or international command-and-control regulation as a strategy for dealing with climate change? After all, wealthier is healthier.