Consider the perverse effect cap and trade has on altruistic actions. Say you decide to buy a small, high-efficiency car. That reduces your emissions, but not your country's. Instead it allows somebody else to buy a bigger S.U.V. - because the total emissions are set by the cap.
If your child gets asthma, the fossil fuel industry doesn't pay. Or if there's a natural disaster, the bill is paid by the taxpayer, not the fossil fuel company.
Coal is responsible for as much atmospheric carbon dioxide as other fossil fuels combined and it still has far greater reserves. We must stop using it.
After spending three or four years interacting with the Bush administration, I realized they were not taking any actions to deal with climate change. So, I decided to give one talk, and then it snowballed into another talk and eventually to even protesting and getting arrested.
On a per capita basis, Britain is responsible for more of the carbon dioxide now in the atmosphere than any other nation on Earth because it has been burning it from the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.
What makes tar sands particularly odious is that the energy you get out in the end, per unit carbon dioxide, is poor. It's equivalent to burning coal in your automobile.
We have known since the 1800s that carbon dioxide traps heat in the atmosphere. The right amount keeps the climate conducive to human life.
It's as certain that as long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy, we will just keep burning them.
Climate change is analogous to Lincoln and slavery or Churchill and Nazism: it's not the kind of thing where you can compromise.
Adding CO2 to the air is like throwing another blanket on the bed.
Jail threats did not dissuade Martin Luther King - and intergenerational justice is a moral issue of comparable magnitude to civil rights.
The democratic process is supposed to be one person one vote, but it turns out that money is talking louder than the votes.
As species are exterminated by shifting climate zones, ecosystems can collapse, destroying more species.
Recent warming coincides with rapid growth of human-made greenhouse gases. The observed rapid warming gives urgency to discussions about how to slow greenhouse gas emissions.
The United States did not sign Kyoto, yet its emissions are not that different from the countries that did sign it.
Because cap and trade is enforced through the selling and trading of permits, it actually perpetuates the pollution it is supposed to eliminate.
Several times in Earth's history, rapid global warming occurred, apparently spurred by amplifying feedbacks. In each case, more than half of plant and animal species became extinct. New species came into being over tens and hundreds of thousands of years. But these are time scales and generations that we cannot imagine.
Until the public demands otherwise, the policy makers will continue to serve their financiers.
The fact is fossil fuel carbon will stay in the surface climate system for millennia.
What has become clear from the science is that we cannot burn all of the fossil fuels without creating a very different planet.