The news article "Cap-and-trade carbon auction a sellout" (Nov. 20, Page A-6) is a good piece on the topic of cap-and-trade for carbon emissions, but it misses a couple of important points when it comes to carbon dioxide.
For one thing, cap- and-trade is one more in a long line of environmental approaches where California is way out in front of the rest of the United States. We had some of the first and toughest regulations on pesticides and other harmful chemicals. We were the first state with stringent requirements for auto emissions that mandated catalytic converters. As a result of these and other environmental protection measures, California has remained a great place to live and work.
For another thing, this new market in carbon emissions represents a landmark event in recognizing that the atmosphere is both a shared resource and a shared responsibility. We must all work together to protect it so that it can continue to protect us. To those naysayers in the business community who say that protecting the atmosphere is too expensive, I have only this question: Historically, how has your market been among starving people who live in a dying ecosystem?