Sunday, July 12, 2009
Cap-and-trade, otherwise known as "buying carbon off-sets" (such as what Al Gore does to keep his big mansion air-conditioned), looks a lot like the old, U.S. Civil War-era practice of "commutation," i.e., rich families buying their sons' way out of the draft. If you had the money and the inclination back then, you could pay someone else (a poorer person, usually, someone from the "less advantaged" classes) to take your place among the conscripts and stop the bullet with your name on it.
Buying your way out of conscription was a form of big fish eating little fish, the ultimate kick-the-cat scenario. No one mentions that. Right now everyone is filled with the noble purpose of reducing carbon emissions, and trading green for carbon privileges strikes the proponents of C&T as a grand idea.
It's fundamentally class- and wealth-based, just as Civil War draft avoidance was.
The Draft in the Civil War