Monday, August 17, 2009


What's the point of using carbon dioxide emissions to grow algae when we can just use the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to grow plants? Maybe the plants can be grown with fewer other inputs if the carbon dioxide is concentrated? But if the algae are used as products then no carbon is sequestered. So what is this guy "frustrated" about? I guess there may be reductions in other fossil fuel inputs that would be used in conventional agriculture, but an ETS or carbon tax provides the incentive to reduce the use of those inputs anyway. This raises another point, does direct sequestration of emissions make any sense anyway in place of growing plants to absorb carbon from the atmosphere? Can it be cheaper?

In other news it looks likely that the inefficient approach of mandating renewable energy will pass the Senate while the more efficient (but not as efficent as it could be) ETS component failed to do so. I'm all in favor of incentives or government programs for research and development into alternative energy but mandating the use of a particular technology doesn't make sense. Under carbon pricing, whatever is the cheaper option to cut emissions will be adopted first and if that is renewable energy then a mandate is not needed and if it is not renewable energy then the mandate is more costly than the pricing policy. Of course, this is not at all surprising.

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