In another demonstration of how many conservatives are hypocrites when it comes to the environment, we have the sorry example of Canada’s billion dollar green energy fund.
Contrast these two situations:
- You oblige people to pay a fee when they emit greenhouse gases, and pay other people a reward if they can remove these gases permanently from the air.
- You set up a giant fund of cash, and give it away to some companies because they think they might find a costly way to maintain business as usual (carbon capture and storage) and then give the rest to whoever can get the most political traction.
The former approach demonstrates faith in innovation and market mechanisms. The latter approach suggests that the indefinite combination of government analysis and lobbying can somehow do better.
If we want to address climate change in a fair and effective way, we should be making firms and individuals pay the true costs of what their actions impose on everyone, while banning the most destructive activities. We should not be setting up weird mechanisms for political patronage.