Global Warming Today: Carbon Credits Bunk

Of course, it is only those rich folks, like Gore, Huffington, David, Edwards, Kerry, etc, who are having their cake and eating it too by buying said credits

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.

I told ya they were bunk (psst: who has a stake in one of the largest carbon credits companies?)

The FT 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.

Makes pyramid schemes look saintly.

But, wait, it gets even better!

But is the carbon-neutral movement just a gimmick?

On this, environmentalists aren’t neutral, and they don’t agree. Some believe it helps build support, but others argue that these purchases don’t accomplish anything meaningful — other than giving someone a slightly better feeling (or greener reputation) after buying a 6,000-square-foot house or passing the million-mile mark in a frequent-flier program. In fact, to many environmentalists, the carbon-neutral campaign is a sign of the times — easy on the sacrifice and big on the consumerism.

Michael R. Solomon, the author of “Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having and Being” and a professor at Auburn University, said he was not surprised by the allure of the carbon-offsetting market.

“Consumers are always going to gravitate toward a more parsimonious solution that requires less behavioral change,” he said. “We know that new products or ideas are more likely to be adopted if they don’t require us to alter our routines very much.”

But he said there was danger ahead, “if we become trained to substitute dollars for deeds — kind of an ‘I gave at the office’ prescription for the environment.”

Goodness, how'd that sneak in to the Grey Lady?

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