You Can See How Well Cap and Trade Works From Space

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In the 20-state area that participates in a cap-and-trade program to reduce emissions of nitric oxide (NOx) from power plants, NOx emissions have declined dramatically.

The reduction is visible even from space, scientists reported as long ago as in 2006, in satellite images of the Northeastern United States. The hard numbers for the emissions drop has been even more extreme, according to biochemist William Schlesinger, writing at NRDC’s OneEarth.

A full 32% drop in NOx emissions has occurred since 1997, when NOx regulation began.

The reasons for regulating NOx were to prevent acid rain which was destroying forests. Nearly thirty years ago, scientists established that NOx produces Ozone in the atmosphere. Now the health effects of NOx regulation is even more apparent. Ozone levels affect the rate of heart disease.

Long-term records showed the increasing ozone in the eastern United States and rising contents of nitric acid in rainfall, as a result of a series of chemical reactions in the atmosphere, and legislation was passed cutting the pollutant, with a cap and trade plan.

But, just as it is hard now to get coal plant operators to accept the regulation of greenhouse gas pollutants, back when scientists were advocating for ozone reductions, coal plant operators objected, on the grounds that NOx releases come from soil microbes too.

Now they (and their useful idiot spokesfolks) claim that breathing out will soon be forbidden if carbon dioxide emissions are regulated – forget that no human being could breathe out a 25,000 ton carbon dioxide regulatory trigger in several lifetimes.

When even visiting aliens from outer space can see how well cap and trade works from miles above the planet, you have to wonder, when will we be able to see that cap and trade works, too?

Image: NASA
Susan Kraemer@Twitter

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