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Articles by Gar Lipow

Gar Lipow, a long-time environmental activist and journalist with a strong technical background, has spent years immersed in the subject of efficiency and renewable energy. His new book Solving the Climate Crisis will be published by Praeger Press in Spring 2012. Check out his online reference book compiling information on technology available today.

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[Because the following is long, it is also available in pdf format at ]

Even as London carbon trading desks shut down[1] in response to the crumbling European Trading System (ETS) , the zombie concept of carbon trading spreads to China. Because Robin Hahnel’s carbon trading defenses[2] offer the best pro-carbon market arguments to date, this article tackles carbon trading largely by answering Hahnel.

For those wondering “who the hell is Robin Hahnel?”, he is an underappreciated left economist. His 1999 book Panic Rules was one of the  best critical primers on globalization.  He is a long time critic of market fundamentalism, and of markets themselves. Unlike many carbon trading defenders, his support for carbon trading is based neither on market uber alles ideology  nor upon ties to the carbon trading industry. That makes his defense of carbon trading more intelligent and more aware of pitfalls.

Why does that make him worth answering? Anyone with confidence in their views on a controversial subject, such as carbon trading, should be willing to engage the best arguments the other side can m... Read more

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