Economy

Greenhouse-gas polluters party like it’s 1999

Jukkisjupi / iStock via Getty Images

By David Callaway, Callaway Climate Insights

(Bill Sternberg is a veteran Washington journalist and former editorial page editor of USA Today.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Callaway Climate Insights) — Not that this would ever happen, but let’s suppose your teenage children decided to throw a big party while you were out of town. When you returned a little earlier than anticipated, you found the house trashed and the yard littered with wine bottles and beer cans.

Would you expect the kids and their friends to clean up their own mess and pay for any damages? Or would you leave it up to taxpayers and disgusted neighbors to clear the debris while financing new technologies to recycle the glass and aluminum?

In any sane society, the responsible parties would bear the brunt of the clean-up costs. In the world of U.S. carbon politics, however, the polluters are using Earth’s atmosphere as a free waste dump while foisting the costs on everyone else. . . .

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