Last year, Marcus Theatres proposed a new, larger multiplex (with an Ultrascreen) to replace Eastgate Cinema. It would be in the same vicinity, just a bit farther east along the Highway 151 corridor.
The City of Madison felt that the development would not be in keeping with their policy goals of reducing emissions, since it would not be on a bus line, nor would it be pedestrian-friendly, requiring patrons and employees alike to drive there by car. Marcus must create a pedestrian-friendly development around their new cinema, with affordable housing options, if they want Madison to approve their plans.
The supporters of the project pointed out that most people drive to Eastgate by car already, and if the city makes it too difficult or expensive, Marcus will simpy build a few more miles east, in Sun Prairie. That will result in just as many car trips, but most of them will be a few miles longer (since Madison will still provide the majority of the cinema's patrons). How will that reduce emissions? It will, in fact, increase emissions.
That is exactly what cap and trade legislation will do. I am not a global warming denier. Neither can I deny the economic impact of cap and trade legislation. It will result in major increases in manufacturing costs (especially in Wisconsin, where most of our electricity is generated with coal). The result of that will be to move most manufacturing overseas to places with lax environmental standards, as well as lower labor costs, like China and India.
That will result in a lot more container ships making the trip across the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Container ships burn barely-refined fuel and spew great volumes of filthy smoke. China is burning exponentially more coal every year.
I have heard the argument that we have to take the lead and set an example for the developing world. I don't buy it. China has not emulated our example of the last four decades and created anything like the EPA, or OSHA. They are motivated more by short-term economic development concerns. They will laugh at our cap-and-trade legislation. Then they will build more factories and power plants and mine more coal in the cheapest, fastest way possible (interrupted only by the occasional fatal mine collapse).
The only thing that will stop the flow of jobs and container ships is if the growing pirate problem makes it less cost-effective to manufacture all of our consumer goods in China. Say, maybe the Pastafarians have the right idea about pirates and global warming.
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