Thursday, April 26, 2007

Global Warming Is Al Gore's Retirement Scam

I never did like the "feel good" approach to reducing environmental pollutants, but that's the path Al Gore and his liberal band of merry marketeers have chosen. Others have the same opinion and have dug a bit deeper. This is what the FinancialTimes has found.

Industry Caught in Carbon ‘Smokescreen’
Companies and individuals rushing to go green have been spending millions on “carbon credit” projects that yield few if any environmental benefits.

A Financial Times investigation has uncovered widespread failings in the new markets for greenhouse gases, suggesting some organisations are paying for emissions reductions that do not take place.

Others are meanwhile making big profits from carbon trading for very small expenditure and in some cases for clean-ups that they would have made anyway.

This does not surprise me. Not one bit. It sounded like a scam from the get go.

The growing political salience of environmental politics has sparked a “green gold rush”, which has seen a dramatic expansion in the number of businesses offering both companies and individuals the chance to go “carbon neutral”, offsetting their own energy use by buying carbon credits that cancel out their contribution to global warming.

The burgeoning regulated market for carbon credits is expected to more than double in size to about $68.2bn by 2010, with the unregulated voluntary sector rising to $4bn in the same period.

Uncle Al learned at the hands of a master. This is the Clinton Method For Looking Like You're Doing Something (CMFLLYDS).

The Financial Times investigation found:

■ Widespread instances of people and organisations buying worthless credits that do not yield any reductions in carbon emissions.
■ Industrial companies profiting from doing very little – or from gaining carbon credits on the basis of efficiency gains from which they have already benefited substantially.
■ Brokers providing services of questionable or no value.
■ A shortage of verification, making it difficult for buyers to assess the true value of carbon credits.
■ Companies and individuals being charged over the odds for the private purchase of European Union carbon permits that have plummeted in value because they do not result in emissions cuts.

Say what you will. There's a sucker born every minute.

Francis Sullivan, environment adviser at HSBC, the UK’s biggest bank that went carbon-neutral in 2005, said he found “serious credibility concerns” in the offsetting market after evaluating it for several months.

“The police, the fraud squad and trading standards need to be looking into this. Otherwise people will lose faith in it,” he said.

These concerns led the bank to ignore the market and fund its own carbon reduction projects directly.

Let the indictments begin!

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