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Thanks for the excellent review yesterday.

One basic problem with the market dealing adequately with carbon replacement is that lowered usage of any resource lowers its price, so it eventually gets used somewhere else in the system. Say, 5-6 advanced countries dramatically replace their coal plants with nuclear or renewables. The price of coal globally goes down, and developing countries and the remaining plants and industries using coal turn more to snatching it up at that price.

Hansen's fee-and-dividend would likely lower carbon in the energy mix in any given country where it's implemented - although it's highly doubtful it could do so at 6% a year and keep that economy standing. Simultaneously, it would also give any country that doesn't implement it a significant economic advantage in the global marketplace. Therefore, it would have to be applied to all nations at the same time and at the same rate, which is something of a fantasy.

While it's technically possible to lower carbon use and continue to economically grow in any one nation (see France and Sweden), they aren't dropping in sufficient rates to offset growing carbon use in developing nations, and one reason that adds to it is offshoring goods production to those developing nations. It largely misses the point to take any one nation as a shining example of optimism without also looking at the entire global economy.

My personal view is that barring an economic crash (not an impossibility, but also largely not predictable), we will see a surprisingly rapid replacement of many coal plants in the developed countries with natural gas/renewables/nuclear, and we'll think we're solving the problem, but we'll be scratching our heads as to why the Mauna Loa numbers aren't stalling out.

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