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As carbon market grows, law firms cash in

Boston Business Journal – May 16, 2008

In my opinion, this is wrong in so many ways that I can barely count all of the problems! As my frequent readers know, I rant against carbon trading schemes all the time, so much so that my fingers are starting to be bruised. I have yet to see one that makes sense to me and this story typifies many of the problems. (If you want to stay up to speed on all of my thoughts on this subject, subscribe to the feed for this site).

Companies try to make going green easier

Denver Business Journal – December 7, 2007

I haven’t made any secret of my distrust of the carbon credits (or carbon trading) programs that are on the market. I have written about them often and have pointed out multiple times where they are more scam than good. While I am certain that there are some programs that have good intentions, the devil is usually in the details and the details are usually not very good.

I can’t tell if the two programs in this article are good or bad.  They don’t give enough details in the article but I am suspicious.  While the companies that ShipGreen and AllState are donating to appear to be above board, they simply are not sharing enough information to tell if the money is doing any good.  I am reminded that BusinessWeek did an article on this type of effort only to find that little of the offset money did any good.

Little Green Lies

BusinessWeek – October 29, 2007

BusinessWeek must be one of the most venerable periodicals in the business community. Few magazines can acclaim to the level and depth of business discussion. Most CEOs and business leaders read or at least skim the magazine on a regular basis.

As their cover story, BW decided to cover the idea that "going green" was a good thing for business.  I have discussed this issue before and it was good to get BW’s opinion and coverage on the story.  Their perspective is quite interesting.

In China, a Plan to Turn Rice Into Carbon Credits

Wall Street Journal – October 9, 2007

I am not a fan of carbon trading programs or carbon credits as most readers know. However, I do like programs that promise to reduce the use of our valuable resources.

This idea sounds promising as it will decrease the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere (did you know that agriculture put out more than automobiles?) and it will conserve resources.

…to sell farmers a genetically engineered rice seed. He says the seed, still in development, will cut their need for nitrogen fertilizer, which is among their biggest costs — and a huge source of greenhouse gases. He then aims to sell the resulting carbon credits on a growing global exchange.

Kyoto protocol ‘promotes deforestation’

Reuters – August 14, 2007

To continue my ranting about carbon credits, I present this article that claims that credits that are in the Kyoto protocol actually encourage deforestation.  While the author does not claim that you get direct credits for cutting down trees, there is no doubt that the logic is sound.

Carbon credits allow the polluter to buy non-polluting capability of others to offset the polluters sins.  I have discussed this often in the past (see here) but go to this post for probably the best overall description of the technique.

The current carbon market actually encourages cutting down some of the world?s biggest forests, which would unleash tonnes of climate-warming carbon into the atmosphere….

Can you buy a greener conscience?

Los Angeles Times – September 2, 2007

P.T. Barnum supposedly said that there was a sucker born every minute. Sometimes, when I read about carbon credits, I am not sure who the sucker is – the person buying, the person selling, or the general public for thinking it is helping!

I really don’t like carbon credit schemes.  I have written about them multiple times and most of what I read simply doesn’t make sense and is closer to scam than it is to solution.

In order for credits to be feasible and to be more than a “feel good” gesture, we need solid accounting, accountability, and penalties. We have none of that now and this article makes this painfully clear. We cannot allow credits to be used for minor contributions to a project. The credit must go to the cost of reducing the greenhouse gas. 

Sunday morning comic strip

It is Sunday so I think we have had enough bad news and hard thinking for the week.  This comic on a carbon credit trading scheme at a personal level should at least raise a smile. I originally saw this at Pete’s Place (he says I have a good looking website without much material – interesting since he simply writes 2 sentences and then pastes entire copyrighted articles on his site).

It took me a while to find the cartoon at Geek Culture. For some reason Pete’s Place doesn’t believe in giving proper crediting of the source of the original work of the stuff that is republished there. I don’t believe that is fair to the original author and will always give credit to the source where possible.

Green energy hot, price rising

San Jose Business Journal – August 10, 2007

As the loyal readers of this site know, I am not a fan of carbon credits. This article underlies much of my mistrust of this system. The article touts several companies that have bought green credits (companies that aren’t huge per capita users of energy). These companies have bought the credits because they want to do the right thing by the environment, and admittedly, they want the bragging rights of buying them.

Academic challenges global warming theory

ABC Western Queensland – July 6, 2007

Much of the science of this article has been discussed other places on my site but I think the most significant statements are when it comes to carbon credit trading.

I don’t think that carbon trading makes sense and I am also not sure that it even works. Most carbon trading programs are tied to growing plants but, inevitably, those new plants will die and the process of decay releases much of that CO2 back to the atmosphere. So unless the carbon trading system takes into account the full carbon lifecycle, the system is not effective.

How Farm Odors Contribute to Global Warming: New Research Happening in NYS

WETM – June 27, 2007

I know that others are taking a more cynical view on this legislation (see this blog and that blog and another blog) but I think this is wise money.

I have commented before on methane and its ability to add to the greenhouse effect.  It is only logical that we would spend money to research this area and see how we can control it. In fact, it may be a better investment than trying to control the carbon dioxide pollution in the environment.

The United States Department of Agriculture has released reports stating that when you smell cow manure, you’re also smelling greenhouse gas emissions.