Friday, January 23, 2009

Carbon credits/trading "a scam"

President Obama and John McCain both campaigned on instuting a system of trading carbon credits ("cap and trade") as a means to reduce CO2 release. But rabid promoters of the global warming scare say such a system is a poor way to accomplish the goal.

"Most of the "green" stuff is verging on a gigantic scam. Carbon trading, with its huge government subsidies, is just what finance and industry wanted. It's not going to do a damn thing about climate change, but it'll make a lot of money for a lot of people and postpone the moment of reckoning," says James Lovelock, originator of the GAIA theory, and longtime environmental alarmist.

About carbon sequestration, another technique President Obama wants to promote, Lovelock says, "That is a waste of time. It's a crazy idea - and dangerous. It would take so long and use so much energy that it will not be done."

James Hansen, the "famous NASA scientist" who has been raising global warming alarm for many years, dissented from the current plans of Democratic Party environmentalists on their plans to deal with carbon release. From the Wall Street Journal:

"...Mr. Hansen endorses a straight carbon tax as the only 'honest, clear and effective' way to reduce emissions, with the revenues rebated in their entirety to consumers on a per-capita basis. 'Not one dime should go to Washington for politicians to pick winners,' he writes."

While Hansen may have lost his head when describing trains delivering coal to power generating plants as equivalent to the Nazi death trains bringing Jews to concentration camp crematoria, he seems to be clear on the incestuous relation between politicians and industry that would be fostered by "cap and trade."

What is cap and trade? Wikipedia gives a good overview. "A central authority (usually a government or international body) sets a limit or cap on the amount of a pollutant that can be emitted. Companies or other groups are issued emission permits and are required to hold an equivalent number of allowances (or credits) which represent the right to emit a specific amount. The total amount of allowances and credits cannot exceed the cap, limiting total emissions to that level. Companies that need to increase their emission allowance must buy credits from those who pollute less. The transfer of allowances is referred to as a trade. In effect, the buyer is paying a charge for polluting, while the seller is being rewarded for having reduced emissions by more than was needed." Al Gore's company and others like it will make millions brokering such trades.

Again, from the Wall Street Journal: "[Washington politicians prefer] posturing that disguises the cost of rising energy prices, such as cap and trade. This 'subterfuge,' as Mr. Hansen terms it, shifts the direct burden onto businesses, which then pass it along to consumers. Congress may flatter itself that it is saving mankind, but what the Members really want is a cap-and-trade windfall that they can redistribute in the green pork of Mr. Obama's 'new energy economy,' whatever that means."

It's all about money. Government money, regulations, and tax breaks benefitting big corporations and businesses. Pork. Now it becomes green pork. Haven't we had enough reckless spending already?

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