(CNSNews.com) -- Famed primatologist and environmental activist Jane Goodall told CNSNews.com that the proposed cap-and-trade plan in Congress could mean higher energy prices for Americans but the “future of the planet” is at some point going to have to make us “tighten our belts.”
Goodall, the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, was asked if she forsees energy costs rising for average Americans if cap-and-trade (putting a ceiling and financial penalty on carbon emissions) is implemented.
She said, “I don’t know enough about how this will play out but even if energy costs did go up, you know, at some point we have got to realize that the future of the planet is going to make us have to tighten our belts.”
“And that is not a very good thing to be talking about right now after the recession because, you know, and so you cannot expect people right now to embrace something like that if indeed energy costs go up, but I don’t know if they will or not,” she said.
Goodall, who spoke with CNSNews.com after an environmental panel discussion in Washington, D.C., also said that cap-and-trade is a “short-term” solution to reducing carbon emissions.
“What I find exciting about the cap and trade, as a short-term solution is that, you know, the tropical forest is disappearing very, very fast and there are big vested interests out there,” she said. “So, for a government that’s poor or corrupt or both then, you know, a foreign company comes in and offers to pay lots and lots of money for a logging concession or mining concession in the forest.”
“Previously, the only things we’ve had to play with were, you know, eco-tourism, which does not bring in lots of money quickly, and these people very often want money now in the pocket,” said Goodall. “So, but this money for avoided deforestation is, is at least one tool that we can have.”
CNSNews.com also asked Goodall, “It’s been talked about that these [carbon ceiling] regulations could be put in place through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if a climate bill cannot be passed in Congress. Do you think that would be a good idea to at least get some of the regulations in place?”
Goodall said, “Well, obviously it’s a good idea to get the regulations in place but the world is filled with regulations, which unless they’re enforced actually are just words on paper with many, many examples of that -- but at least it’s a beginning.”