She talks about the 'serious cuts' that America is making, countering it with the increase being allowed by China and India. There is one issue here the cuts that Obama is making is only going to take the US down 3% on 1990 levels, which is actually behind where most of the rest of the developed world already is beyond. The thing is that America wasn't allowed to increase it carbon emissions the way that it did under Bush and republican lead houses that batted away attempts by Clinton to bring about a change. If anything the serious cuts from America are long overdue and too little at this time.
She also goes on to say that carrying out the proposed cuts will put America at an economic and competitive disadvantage. Well she is clearly ignoring the economic and competitive advantage that the USA has benefited from by ignoring the directives of Kyoto while others of us have pushed for reductions. Indeed instead of job losses it has seen more inventiveness and jobs moving in other directions. Indeed when I was studying environmental economics 20 years ago at University it was of the considerations that we addressed. There where several major difference that had to be made.
- The things that were produced
- What they were produced from (i.e. recycling rather than finite raw material)
- How we went about producing them
- How the workers environment changed to meet the challenge (this was mainly the home working model)
So if twenty years ago we were aware of the issue what happened in East Anglia after that is one thing that will have no impact. As someone who isn't a johnny come lately to the argument but spent a good part of my University years studying this and the economic impacts and been a keen follower of developments since I can say that Sarah once again has shown her ignorance of the facts.
However, she does speak a few lines of sense in her Comment is Free piece. One of the them is:
"Our representatives in Copenhagen should remember that good environmental
policymaking is about weighing real-world costs and benefits."
She is right. But from ready her article she makes the very basic economic mistake in thinking that all costs and benefits are measured in GDP. In the real world our social, environmental and sustainability costs and benefits are all to be taken into consideration. If we didn't we'd all be working 25/7/365 because the financial costs are of such a great boon.