When I first heard the global warmers talk about carbon credits as a solution to our anticipated future weather problems, I didn’t listen much. It didn’t make much sense to me and usually that means it doesn’t make much sense, period. I figured it was just another puff of political smoke in a whirlwind. But then a friend tried to explain carbon credits to me and what he was saying was so ludicrous I had to try to figure it out for myself. My friend had to be wrong.
My friend was right.
So now I have lost all faith in everything that comes to me from the towers of expertise or politics. When supposed leaders, both scientific and political, seriously think that buying and selling what they call carbon credits will help solve the global warming problem, if indeed it is a problem, then it is time to climb into a space ship and find another planet to live on.
Here’s the deal in case you are as puzzled as I am. Let us say that a rich man, like, say Al Gore, with private jets, several mansions, a stretch limo or two, is afraid that people might call him a hypocrite for telling them to stop burning so much fuel while he is burning gobs of it. He can assuage his conscience by taking a bit of his money and buying what are called carbon credits supposedly equal to the value of the carbon burning he is generating. He goes to what is called a carbon credit broker or trader, who, after taking out his commission of course, passes the money on to someone who promises not to consume the fossil fuel energy the rich consumer has already consumed. Get it? You don’t get it? Well, look, stupid, it is all very clear. As long as you can find someone else who will promise not to burn up 4,000,000,000,000,000.000 BTUs that you intend to keep on burning, you are helping save the world from melting down.
You still don’t get it?
You don’t see how carbon credits are slowing global warming?
You don’t understand how the money gets moved around?
You don’t understand who figures out what value to put on a carbon credit?
You wonder if maybe this is a huge scam that is going to make carbon credit traders even richer than they already are?
OK, if you are that stupid, I’ll try to explain it another way. Say you are a Chinese businessman. You have a coal burning electric plant that is about worn out. You need to build a new one. You call up the carbon credit bankers and you tell them you want to help stop global warming. You are willing to close down your plant, sob, sob, for the good of the universe. You do not mention your future plans, not that the carbon credit boys give a damn. You think closing down your outmoded plant should be worth about $5 million worth of carbon credit and that’s fine with them since they make money by generating carbon credits.
The carbon credit traders find a billionaire who is feeling guilty because he is burning up $5 million worth of carbon credits every week or so in his factories. He writes out a check for 5 million in hopes that it will go to a worthy cause, and hoping that God will see how environmentally holy he is even though he will keep on burning up $5 million worth of carbon next week just like always. (Billionaires used to give money to the church to cover their multitudes of sins; now they give it to carbon traders.)
The Chinese businessman smiles that enigmatic smile, accepts the money in great piety, bows, and then goes out and builds a new plant without necessarily having any more pollution controls on it than the old one.
You think I’m joking, I know. So help me, that’s the way it works as far as I can find out. (There is tons of info on the Internet.) There is a slim possibility that sometimes carbon credits will be paid to someone who actually does something to keep energy consumption from rising, but there is no net loss of energy consumed, and in all likelihood, because humans will cheat every chance they get and there is no watchdog authority over all this screwy business, there will be a net increase in energy consumption.
I have a tip for the carbon credit cartel. Don’t come around my neck of the woods moaning about global warming. After the trees budded out and the spring flowers bloomed and the pasture greened up this year, we suffered through six days of below freezing weather, and counting. We are having a hard enough time supplying you with food in the weather we have NOW.
P.S. According to the latest news, the carbon trading scheme put into practice in Europe has more or less collapsed. Also the value of a carbon credit has plunged on the “market” from $10 or so a credit to $3. Looks to me like the scammers have been scammed.
Originally published in the The Progressor Times, Carey, Ohio.
Also: Cheat Neutral
Gene and Carol Logsdon have a small-scale experimental farm in Wyandot County, Ohio.
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The Lords of Folly (novel)
The Mother of All Arts: Agrarianism and the Creative Impulse (Culture of the Land)
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