In just over a dozen months, the global economic recession has succeeded where decades of carbon cap and trade policies have failed: reducing global carbon emissions. The USA Today reports:

From the United States to Europe to China, the global economic crisis has forced offices to close and factories to cut back. That means less use of fossil fuels such as coal to make energy. Fossil-fuel burning, which creates carbon dioxide, is the primary human contributor to global warming. A recession-driven drop in emissions “is good for the environment,” says Emilie Mazzacurati of Point Carbon, an energy research company.

No one should be surprised that a terrible economy has produced an outcome environmentalists love. Studies by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Energy Information Administration, and the National Association of Manufacturers, have all shown that even the lenient carbon capping standards of last year’s Lieberman-Warner global warming bill would cost the American economy trillions of dollars for each tenth of a degree of future temperature rise avoided. Our own Center for Data Analysis shows Lieberman-Warner would have cost the U.S. economy $4.8 trillion by 2030.

The greatest trick the environmental left ever pulled was to convince the drive-by media that “cap-and-trade” was a “free market” solution to global warming. Hence the New York Times once reported with a straight face that Lieberman-Warner would create “one of the biggest markets in the world, estimated to be worth over $200 billion a year.” Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality cap and trade is nothing more than the largest tax increase in American history. And the left is finally beginning to admit it.

Yesterday, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman urged the environmental left to “Show Us the Ball” explaining:

Advocates of cap-and-trade argue that it is preferable to a simple carbon tax because it fixes a national cap on carbon emissions and it “hides the ball” — it doesn’t use the word “tax” — even though it amounts to one.

Now that everyone has admitted that the left’s call for global warming legislation is just a massive energy tax, it should be much easier to convince the American people this is a policy they want no part of. Today’s New York Times profiles Renee Daniels-Hanner of St. Louis, Missouri who now has an electricity bill averaging $160 a month in winter and $250 a month in the summer. According to Renee’s power company, AmerenUE, if cap and tax would become law, their cost to produce would double. Renee told the NYT: “We can barely afford what we have now.”

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