Archive for December, 2009

Will Cap and Trade Work?

JCloudStorerSmA couple of years ago I suggested to Frank Felder, Director of Rutgers’ Center for Energy, Environmental, and Economic Policy (CEEEP), that we co-sponsor a debate on the relative merits of cap-and-trade vs. a carbon tax. The idea went nowhere, because the conventional wisdom, then as now, is that anything with the word “tax” in it is a political nonstarter.

I thought this was shortsighted then, and think it is still short-sighted now. If we fail to discuss what may be better alternatives because they are not politically popular, they will never get the chance to become widely considered, and we will have allowed a self-fulfilling prophecy to dictate our fate. Political acceptability is an important factor in choosing a course of action. But it is not the only one. If a carbon tax (or, as some prefer to call it, a “fee”) is a better approach, then we need to figure out how to make it palatable. And if cap-and-trade will, as others claim, do more harm than good, then we need to consider how to de-legitimize it. Read the rest of this entry »


Why The Dead River Journal

…and what you can expect to find here.

Photo Credit: Passaic River Coalition (

The idea for the Dead River Journal was hatched at a meeting to consider a new communications strategy for democrats, independents, and moderate republicans in Bernards Township. We intend to be serious, wide-ranging, funny, and engaging, and provide what a local newspaper or magazine should – articles worth reading.

PLEASE NOTE: The focus of the Dead River Journal has changed substantially since it first began. I’ve kept much of the original description here, but we never implemented some of these ideas, and are not likely to. Rather, it has become a vehicle for sharing original thoughts, articles, and essays for me and a few close colleagues in Bernards Township, NJ. (Jonathan Cloud, Nov. 8, 2013)

We’ll have a monthly newsletter, and a subscription list, and ask readers for $10 a year for a subscription. Frankly, if we each kicked in that much we could make this much more effective as a means of communication. Given the urgency of our times, this seems increasingly important. Issues of economics, of energy and the environment, of the role of local government, and of other matters of public interest, are impacting each and every one of us and call for concerted action. Read the rest of this entry »

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