Hey Neergs--

Carbon pollution solutions are so very confusing.  If it's confusing for my mom and dad, how the heck am I supposed to understand it!  According to CNN, 6 out of 10 people don't really understand Cap and Trade. I've read and watched videos to learn, and just when I think I've figured out what I stand for, I change my mind. I don't think I'm alone. 

Here's my dilemma.  I've learned that Cap and Trade model, in the simplest terms, gives polluters a certain number of credits that allow them to pollute. It's like giving a hall pass to the juvenile delinquent who just pulled the fire alarm at school. Crazy, right? Well under Cap and Trade, big polluters have to manage their use of these carbon credits. If they do a bad job and use too much, they then have to buy credits from another company who still has some extra left-over. It manages the problem at hand, but comes at a high price for the polluter. Those against Cap and Trade say that the companies will just cheat--nah, they wouldn't do that! They also say that the cost of changing their evil, carbon polluting ways will just get passed along to regular people like parents when they go to pay the utility bill or gas for their cars. On the flip side, supporters of Cap and Trade say it's an important step. Bringing government, environmental groups and big polluters together for a solution that rewards positive environmental performance is a price worth paying. Supporters also point to the Cap and Trade solution that remedied the acid rain problem in the 1990's. 

Another solution is a straight carbon tax. This tax would charge polluting companies for producing, distributing or using fossil fuels based on how much CO2 they emit. And because this makes fossil fuels more expensive, big polluting companies would be forced to pursue cleaner, cheaper alternatives. It would also encourage everyone on the planet to reduce their consumption of dirty fuels because it will just cost too much! Proponents of a carbon tax say we can implement it sooner. Helloooo, we do have a crises on our hands! They also say it keeps the "cheaters" out of the equation. Simply put, it can be accounted for much more accurately-no gray, fuzzy areas. And lastly, supporters of a carbon tax say the collected money could go to good use for new clean energy technology and other environmental good deeds.

So, I did my best to boil it down, and yet I am still on the fence. My logical self says that a Carbon Tax seems more fair, more black and white and a better way to get results fast. I also know that we don't live in a perfect world. Everyone has their own agenda, and perhaps Cap and Trade would be better than no solution at all. I do know the clock is ticking, the earth isn't waiting for us to make up our minds. Regardless of which solution you back, we all agree on the need for real meaningful action. You should really check out 350.org if you haven't already. This grass roots organization does a great job sending the world a reality check. We need to lower CO2 to 350 parts per million--a level that will sustain a safe life for human beings. I'm posting their video again--it leaves me feeling warm, fuzzy and optimistic, ready to fight the good fight. Oh, our GKR Video of the Day is actually two videos, so you can brush up on Cap and Trade and decide for yourself. 

Peace Out--Ethan