Bjorn Lomborg's June 26 op-ed column, "A Better Way Than Cap and Trade," got it backward when it comes to solving climate change. He proposed massive, taxpayer-funded subsidies for government-selected technologies instead of rules that let the market find the best and cheapest way to solve the problem.
Relying on research and development spending alone to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is a "pay and pray" strategy: Hope the government picks the right technology and that it will reduce global warming pollution as much as scientists tell us is necessary. A better way to tackle climate change is a cap on emissions -- a guarantee that pollution targets will be met -- and an emissions trading market to keep costs down.
Will an extra push on R&D also be necessary? Surely. But what is needed most of all is a real discussion on how low-cost, market-based systems, such as cap and trade, can best be complemented with, and possibly pay for, an R&D policy to create a comprehensive climate change strategy.