June 23, 2010

Carbon Credits – Creating a Market Out of Thin Air

The Climate Change Control Bill strongly supported by Obama calls for an international governing regime to monitor and regulate carbon dioxide and ‘carbon footprints’ from discovery, to production, to consumption at a cost of $50 trillion globally and at a cost of $8 trillion for US taxpayers, all to be paid for by a global tax, whose monies will be used to establish a world government body. - Patrick Briley,
Brezinski: Obama's Globalist ‘Rasputin’, NewsWithViews.com, September 16, 2008

How to Create Trillions of Dollars Out of Hot Air

By sannyasinman, HubPages.com
March 2010

Carbon Offset Credits - The Financial Scam of the Century

Can you think of a product that contains nothing, that does nothing, that has been created out of thin air, that does not work, is based upon a lie, and governments and companies around the world are willing to pay through the nose for? Welcome to the world of carbon credits, the trillion dollar confidence trick.

Everything about Carbon Credit Trading is virtual, non-existent, imaginary, except the billions of dollars to be made from the trades. That is very real and explains why there is a stampede amongst the greedy banks and financial institutions to get a piece of the action, and probably nobody stands to make more money from this fictitious, figment of the imagination than Mr Altruism himself, Mr “save the planet” Gore.

Let’s take a look under the covers of the Carbon Credit Trading scam.

  1. Firstly, there is considerable doubt amongst scientists that there is global warming at all. Many scientists in fact think that the earth is actually cooling. As one climatologist said, "it is anybody’s guess. Next year might be warmer, or it might be cooler. In ten years time, there is just as much chance that the earth will be warmer, as that it will be cooler. We simply do not know." This is the most sensible thing I have heard so far about global warming.

  2. Secondly, even if there were global warming, there is no real proof that it is caused by carbon emissions. There have been times in the past when there was many, many times the quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere compared to today, and the earth was cooler, not warmer. In fact there is considerable evidence that increased volume of CO2 is a consequence of global warming, not the cause. The most plausible explanation for global warming is that it is caused by the activity of the sun, and there is much empirical and scientific evidence to support this.

  3. Thirdly, even if there were global warming, and even if it was caused by carbon emissions, Carbon Credit Trading will do nothing to help either reduce the emissions, or to help save the planet. Rich companies and countries can still put as much CO2 into the atmosphere as they like (even increase it) as long as they can pay for the privilege. Rich countries will buy the right to pollute the earth from developing countries who cannot afford (Africa for example) to pollute the earth as much. This is whole idea is absolute lunacy.

Carbon Credits - An Imaginary Commodity

What’s more, CO2 is not even a pollutant! It is occurs naturally, and is essential for healthy tree and plant growth. Every time we exhale, we breathe out CO2, so perhaps we should all be taxed on our breathing? Do you see the utter nonsense of all of this?

And there’s more. Although carbon offsets are often presented as emissions reductions, they do not actually reduce emissions. At best, they move reductions to where it is cheapest to make them, which normally means a shift from Northern to Southern hemisphere countries. Greenhouse gas emissions continue to be made at one location on the assumption that an equivalent saving will happen elsewhere, but in actual fact, this usually does not happen, and so there is often a net increase in emissions.

Carbon offsets are an imaginary commodity created by deducting what you hope happens from what you guess would have happened. Moreover, according to David Victor, a carbon trading analyst at Stanford University, two-thirds of the supposed “emission reduction” credits from the CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) are not making real reductions in CO2 emissions at all. The companies behind these carbon offset projects are paid to do what they would have done anyway, while the companies who buy the credits in industrialised nations are free to exceed their emissions cap. In other words, this is a license, if you can afford it, to pollute the planet even more!

In theory, the money you pay to the carbon credit company goes towards a “green” project which will offset what they call your “carbon footprint.” One company eager to ease my conscience and take my money to fund a “green project” is http://www.jpmorganclimatecare.com/. Did you see the title? Would you honestly trust a bank, and JP Morgan bank at that, to care for the planet on your behalf?

This is just one example, but shows that the people behind this scam are not altruistic environmentalists. They are financiers, investment banks and hedge funds. There is already a Carbon Credit Futures market, carbon credit trading exchanges in European (ECX) and in Chicago (CCX), and carbon credit derivatives products. Sound familiar?

Obama years ago helped fund carbon program he is now pushing through Congress” is a FOXNews story by Ed Barnes. In short, “while on the board of a Chicago-based charity, Barack Obama helped fund a carbon trading exchange that will likely play a critical role in the cap-and-trade carbon reduction program he is now trying to push through Congress as president.” The charity was the Joyce Foundation on whose board of directors Obama served and which gave nearly $1.1 million in two separate grants that were “instrumental in developing and launching the privately-owned Chicago Climate Exchange, which now calls itself “North America’s only cap and trade system for all six greenhouse gases, with global affiliates and projects worldwide.” - Obama’s Involvement in Chicago Climate Exchange, Canada Free Press, March 29, 2009

This is all about creating billions of dollars, quite literally out of thin air, based up on a hoax, sold to us by world luminaries and super salesmen like Al Gore, who of course has invested heavily in all things to do with climate change, and is flying around the world in his private jet, peddling his wares. He is set to become the world’s first carbon billionaire, and if the “business” of carbon trading continues expanding, there will be many more to follow.


The Carbon Offset Credit Billionaires

You see, Al Gore is chairman of Generation Investment Management (GIM). David Blood, the former chief executive of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, is the CEO. But the bottom line is that GIM is about making money. GIM owns a 10 percent stake in the Chicago Climate Exchange, and the Chicago Climate Exchange owns half of the European Climate Exchange. So, if the United States and Europe adopt a government enforced "cap and trade" carbon credit trading scheme Al Gore and his fellow investors will rake in billions of dollars.

Doesn’t it make you stop and think? If Al Gore wants to save the planet, how much of his time and energy does he spend on projects which are vital to the earth, but where there is no prestige (Nobel Peace Prize, Oscar) or money to be made for him personally? How many would you guess?

The global market for carbon credits could reach €2 trillion by 2020 ($3.2 trillion U.S. dollars) from about €46 billion ($72 billion) this year (2010), and it is all, quite literally, based upon nothing but hot air.

Wake up people! The global warming scare is the greatest scientific fraud in the history of mankind, and its associated carbon credit trading scam is the greatest hustle. Is there anything more important today, than to expose these swindles for what they are, and put a stop to them?

Q. How do you create a Global Warming panic when the weather is not cooperating?

Answer: http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/mos/mos_162globalwarming.html

The Copenhagen summit achieved its main aim, to maintain the carbon-trading system established by the Kyoto Protocol, says Christopher Booker


The great carbon credit swindle


The Kyoto protocol allows rich countries to meet their greenhouse gas reduction commitments by investing in projects abroad. But research shows that many of these projects would have happened anyway.


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What Is Carbon Credit?

• Size of global carbon credit market: Approximately $60 billion
• Amount of C02 the United States traded in 2007: Nearly 23 million metric tons
• Amount of C02 the EU traded in 2007: More than 1.6 billion metric tons

Emissions trading is on track to play a key role in the world's transition to a low-carbon economy. As countries meet their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, the global carbon market has experienced rapid growth. From 2005 to 2008, the market grew from $11 billion to $126 billion. - The Global Carbon Market Grew from $11 Billion in 2005 to $126 Billion in 2008, May 17, 2010

By Jessica Stillman, BNet
Originally Published on February 7, 2008

In step with the dramatic rise in C02 emissions and other pollutants in recent years, a variety of new financial markets have emerged, offering businesses key incentives — aside from taxes and other punitive measures — to slow down overall emissions growth and, ideally, global warming itself.

A key feature of these markets is emissions trading, or cap-and-trade schemes, which allow companies to buy or sell “credits” that collectively bind all participating companies to an overall emissions limit. While markets operate for specific pollutants such as greenhouse gases and acid rain, by far the biggest emissions market is for carbon. In 2007, the trade market for C02 credits hit $60 billion worldwide — almost double the amount from 2006.

How It Works

Emissions limits and trading rules vary country by country, so each emissions-trading market operates differently. For nations that have signed the Kyoto Protocol, which holds each country to its own C02 limit, greenhouse gas-emissions trading is mandatory. In the United States, which did not sign the environmental agreement, corporate participation is voluntary for emissions schemes such as the Chicago Climate Exchange. Yet a few general principles apply to each type of market.

  1. Under a basic cap-and-trade scheme, if a company’s carbon emissions fall below a set allowance, that company can sell the difference — in the form of credits — to other companies that exceed their limits.
  2. Another fast-growing voluntary model is carbon offsets. In this global market, a set of middlemen companies, called offset firms, estimate a company’s emissions and then act as brokers by offering opportunities to invest in carbon-reducing projects around the world. Unlike carbon trading, offsetting isn’t yet government regulated in most countries; it’s up to buyers to verify a project’s environmental worth. In theory, for every ton of C02 emitted, a company can buy certificates attesting that the same amount of greenhouse gas was removed from the atmosphere through renewable energy projects such as tree planting.
Why It Matters Now

Industry watchers say carbon markets will continue to grow at a fast clip — especially in the United States, where Fortune 500 powerhouses such as DuPont, Ford, and IBM are voluntarily capping and trading their emissions. Even though a national cap on carbon emissions doesn’t yet exist in the United States, most consider it inevitable, and legislators are already pushing the issue in Congress.

It’s not just governments who are demanding emissions compliance — consumers want it, too. The commitment a company makes to curb its pollutant output is an increasingly public aspect of strategy. More and more employees are taking these factors into account when deciding where to work. A recent study from MonsterTRAK found that 80 percent of young professionals want their work to impact the environment in a positive way, and 92 percent prefer to work for an environmentally friendly company.

Why It Matters to You

Let’s say a company can’t afford to modify its operations to reduce C02. Purchasing carbon credits or offsets buys it time to figure out how to operate within C02 limits. For others, it can be a cost-effective tool to help lower emissions while earning public praise for the effort. Each credit a company buys on the Chicago Climate Exchange — usually for about $2 — means another company will remove the equivalent of one metric ton of carbon.

The Advantages

Companies in different industries face dramatically different costs to lower their emissions. A market-based approach allows companies to take carbon-reducing measures that everyone can afford. “The private sector is better at developing diversified approaches to manage the costs and risks [of reducing emissions],” says Jesse Fahnestock, spokesman at Swedish power company Vattenfall, which is a member of a global Combat Climate Change coalition.

Reducing emissions and lowering energy consumption is usually good for the core business. For example, in 1997 British energy company BP committed to bring its emissions down to 10 percent below 1990 levels. After taking simple steps like tightening valves, changing light bulbs, and improving operations efficiency, BP implemented an internal cap-and-trade scheme and met its emissions goal by the end of 2001 — nine years ahead of schedule. Using the combined C02 reduction strategy, BP reported saving about $650 million.

Then there’s the long-term investment angle: Buying into the carbon market boom now suggests significant dividends later on. Carbon credits are relatively cheap now, but their value will likely rise, giving companies another reason to participate.

The Disadvantages

As with any financial market, emissions traders are vulnerable to significant risk and volatility. The EU’s trading scheme (EU-ETS), for instance, issued so many permits between 2005 and 2007 that it flooded the market. Supply soared and carbon prices bottomed out, removing incentives for companies to trade. Enforcement of trading rules can be just as unpredictable, though Fahnestock says the EU is working to correct the problems.

Carbon offsets have their own drawbacks, which reflect a fast-growing and unregulated market. Some offset firms in the United States and abroad have been caught selling offsets for normal operations that do not actually take any additional C02 out of the atmosphere, such as pumping C02 into oil wells to force out the remaining crude. In 2008 the Climate Group, the International Emissions Trading Association, and the World Economic Forum will work to develop a Voluntary Carbon Standard to verify that offsetting projects are beyond business-as-usual and have lasting environmental value.

The lack of offset regulations has also made marketing problematic. Recently, companies have taken to declaring themselves “carbon neutral.” But until the Federal Trade Commission determines the guidelines for such terms, it’s unclear which companies actually merit the distinction. Already Vail Resorts, the organizers of the Academy Awards, and other organizations have taken heat for touting their investments in carbon offset projects that were not entirely environmentally sound.

Key Players

Bank of America is a leader in carbon-reduction strategies. The bank recently launched a $20 billion, 10-year initiative to finance emission-reduction projects, invest in green technology, and facilitate carbon-credit trading.

BP is among the most well-known companies to implement an internal cap-and-trade system. The company assigned its 150 units an emissions quota and allowed them to buy and sell carbon credits among themselves.

The European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) is the mandatory cap-and-trade program for the EU.

The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) is a U.S. carbon-trading scheme in which companies make a voluntary but legally binding commitment to meet emissions targets.

How to Talk About It

Cap-and-trade scheme: A market approach to reducing greenhouse gases that works by setting emissions targets. Governments or businesses that reduce their carbon outputs in excess of the target can sell the difference to those who produce more than the limit. This is the favored solution of many business groups.

MACs: Marginal abatement costs refer to the cost of cutting C02 emission, which varies from country to country and industry to industry.

Free-market environmentalism: This theory holds that the free market, which offers economic incentives, is the best tool to address global warming. This view goes against the traditional approach to environmentalism, which looks to government regulation to prevent environmental destruction.

The Combat Climate Change Roadmap - the 3C Initiative’s recommendations to political leaders
Getting Ahead of the Curve: Corporate Strategies That Address Climate Change, a report of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change
Industry Caught in Carbon ‘Smokescreen’ - Financial Times, April 25, 2007, on the problems with carbon offsetting
A Green Employment Tax Swap: Using a Carbon Tax to Finance Payroll Tax Relief - Gilbert Metcalf discusses the advantages of a revenue-neutral carbon tax
Another Inconvenient Truth - BusinessWeek, March 26, 2007, on carbon-offset deals that don’t deliver what they promise
Carbon Currency: A New Beginning for Technocracy? - August Review, January 26, 2010
Forces are already at work to position a new Carbon Currency as the ultimate solution to global calls for poverty reduction, population control, environmental control, global warming, energy allocation and blanket distribution of economic wealth. Unfortunately for individual people living in this new system, it will also require authoritarian and centralized control over all aspects of life, from cradle to grave.
The People vs. Cap‐and‐Tax

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