The cap-and-trade system Barack Obama favors to deal with climate change won’t work, Ralph Nader and Toby Heaps write in the Wall Street Journal, and it’ll lead to “trade anarchy.” Any unilateral action we take must be global; otherwise, companies will simply relocate, taking jobs and emissions with them. China and other developing nations will never accept a cap-and-trade system, but they might be OK with a global carbon tax.
The tax would be more appealing to developing nations, because they could pay as they go, without fear of growing too fast and hitting a hard cap. “Key people in China read our newspapers,” and know that if they do nothing, we’ll implement protectionist measures against their imports. Yes, the tax would initially hurt consumers, but it “would pave the way for cheaper, cleaner energy.” (Read more Ralph Nader stories.)