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Carbon Offsetting

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Carbon offsetting,

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_offsetting

 

seems to be the latest buzzword of the moment, and many companies (Marks & Sparks, etc) are heading down this route. The purchase of carbon offsets just seems to be a way of paying off your responsibility for wasting energy, and transferring it to another party.

 

The whole concept, to me, seems no better than the traffic of indulgences in the 13th and 14th century, where corrupt church officials would sell forgiveness to sinners, or allow those about to sin to purchase their forgiveness in advance of the act.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abuses_of_Indulgences

 

and

 

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07783a.htm

 

Again, it is easy to see how abuses crept in. Among the good works which might be encouraged by being made the condition of an indulgence, alms giving would naturally hold a conspicuous place, while men would be induced by the same means to contribute to some pious cause such as the building of churches, the endowment of hospitals, or the organization of a crusade. It is well to observe that in these purposes there is nothing essentially evil. To give money to God or to the poor is a praiseworthy act, and, when it is done from right motives, it will surely not go unrewarded. Looked at in this light, it might well seem a suitable condition for gaining the spiritual benefit of an indulgence. Yet, however innocent in itself, this practice was fraught with grave danger, and soon became a fruitful source of evil. On the one hand there was the danger that the payment might be regarded as the price of the indulgence, and that those who sought to gain it might lose sight of the more important conditions. On the other hand, those who granted indulgences might be tempted to make them a means of raising money: and, even where the rulers of the Church were free from blame in this matter, there was room for corruption in their officials and agents, or among the popular preachers of indulgences. This class has happily disappeared, but the type has been preserved in Chaucer's "Pardoner", with his bogus relics and indulgences.

 

So is the purchase of carbon offsets 'a praiseworthy act, ... done from the right motives' or 'a practice.. fraught with grave danger, and ..... a fruitful source of evil'.

 

Maybe the latter is somewhat extreme, but the concept does seem cynical to say the least and does not address the real problems. However, maybe I'm just being naive, and this is just a realistic way of addressing a problem in a cynical world...

 

TLM

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a longish article on hte hypocrisy of carbon credits

http://eureferendum2.blogspot.com/2007/03/...ndulgences.html

 

March 02, 2007 Carbon credits - the new indulgences

 

As every schoolchild ought to know, on October 31, 1517 Martin Luther wrote to Albert, Archbishop of Mainz and Magdeburg, protesting against the sale of indulgences in the bishopric. What has caught the imagination of posterity is Luther also nailing the 95 Theses to the great door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg....................

 

and a really humerous one

http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2007/...the_planet.html

 

Repent, Sinners! Earn Eco-Salvation the Quick and Easy Iowahawk Way

 

Are you concerned that your profligate personal lifestyle is harming the environment? Losing sleep over the long-term ecological damage resulting from those greenhouse gases constantly emitted by your family, your cars, your pets, and your shrubbery? Do you want to become carbon-neutral, but just don't know how?

 

Well rejoice, sinner! Carbon atonement is no longer the exclusive preserve..............

 

make sure you buy a bumper sticker - only $9.95!

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a rather sensationalist article hinting at ipcc bias in favour of big business

http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2007/03/i...ap-records.html

March 10, 2007 Is Al Gore's Inconvenient Fiction a $250 Billion Scam?

 

........Wanton profiteering appears to be at the very heart of "carbon offsets." Put simply, a wide range of respected scientists, environmentalists, researchers, agriculturalists, and activists believe that carbon offsets are a "scam", "fantasy", "fiction", "nonsense", "fraudulent" and worse. And they've been saying so since 2000, though to read the newspaper you wouldn't know it........

if correct then it is you and me, the little people, who provide the profits

 

see also http://newsbusters.org/node/11149

Media Ignore Al Gore’s Financial Ties to Global Warming March 2, 2007 - 09:58.

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Carbon offsetting....The whole concept, to me, seems no better than the traffic of indulgences in the 13th and 14th century, where corrupt church officials would sell forgiveness to sinners, or allow those about to sin to purchase their forgiveness in advance of the act...

 

TLM

 

 

First, a technicality with respect to indulgences. Indulgences were never about "selling forgiveness" or "allowing those about to sin to purchase their forgiveness in advance." An indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment due to sin. The granting of an indulgence presupposes that forgiveness (which comes from God) has already been granted. There are some important theological differences here, although this is probably not the forum to go into detail on the issue.

 

With respect to carbon offsetting, I'm not sure that your intended analogy holds. I think we can all agree that the mere utilization of fossil fuels (i.e. - the "object" of the action in terms of moral theology) is not intrinsically evil. If it was, then it would never be permissible to, for example, start a coal fire in your home fireplace to keep your family warm through the winter.

 

Furthermore I think we can agree that the intention (i.e. - the "end" of the action) with respect to using fossil fuels is not evil. No one wants to cause global warming. The intentions are usually good - like providing inexpensive power to the populace.

 

Thus, if the generation of carbon dioxide by means of burning fossil fuel is considered to be evil, it must be because of the circumstances surrounding the action. If the global warming advocates are correct that 1) man is causing global warming and 2) global warming is harmful, then I could understand that large scale production of carbon dioxide would be considered unethical. Frankly, I don't really know whether this is the case or not...too many conflicting "scientific" opinions. There are any number of individual circumstances that could swing the ethical argument in a particular case (such as a plant manager who removes a control device in an attempt to maximize profits at the expense of the environment), but the overall effect of global warming (if it is really being caused by man) is due to the sum of many actions/processes that, taken individually, are not morally problematic. This seems to be the problem that carbon offsetting is trying to tackle. I'm not convinced of the usefulness of carbon offsetting yet, but I don't think the analogy to the sale of indulgences is a good one.

Ace

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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1687531.ece

 

April 22, 2007 Indians make cool £300m in carbon farce

BRITISH companies are handing over millions of pounds to an Indian chemical plant so that western firms can continue to pump out thousands of tons of greenhouse gases.

In a deal that has angered envi-ronmentalists, the Indian company SRF, which produces refrigeration gases at a sprawling chemical plant in Rajasthan, stands to make a profit of more than £300m from the bizarre arrangement that is supposed to combat climate change. .............. more

and this continues for the next 10 years!!!!! £3b in all!!!

i wonder if they make more profit from this nonsense than from chemical manufacture

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You couldn't make it up if you tried.

 

"The deal is part of the new so-called carbon market where companies in developed countries pay those in developing nations to reduce their production of greenhouse gases. By doing so, western companies can increase their own output of carbon dioxide in a trade-off."

 

-----------------------------

 

"The Indian company has spent just £1.4m in equipment to reduce its emissions, but it will reap a profit of more than 200 times that amount from British investors and others.

 

It is now using the money it has made to expand production of another greenhouse gas, which is a thousand times more damaging than CO2 Other manufacturers in India and China producing similar products are expected to earn an estimated £3.3 billion over the next six years by cutting emissions at a cost of just £67m."

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it just gets worse! fact is stranger than fiction!

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/48e334ce-f355-11db...0b5df10621.html

Industry caught in carbon smokescreen

By Fiona Harvey and Stephen Fidler in London April 25 2007

 

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...............................more

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so, when youre signing on at the job centre, will you hve a nice warm feeling inside that you are saving the planet???????

 

http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/02...-name_page.html

Corus: EU scheme a threat to steel producers Apr 25 2007

by Tomos Livingstone, Western Mail

 

A FLAGSHIP EU scheme to cut pollution is “counter-productive” and could damage the Welsh steel industry, the chief executive of Corus warned yesterday.

Philippe Varin, pictured right, said the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, first introduced in 2005, was a major contributor to rising electricity prices, one of the firm’s big headaches..........more

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First, a technicality with respect to indulgences. Indulgences were never about "selling forgiveness" or "allowing those about to sin to purchase their forgiveness in advance." An indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment due to sin. The granting of an indulgence presupposes that forgiveness (which comes from God) has already been granted. There are some important theological differences here, although this is probably not the forum to go into detail on the issue.

 

With respect to carbon offsetting, I'm not sure that your intended analogy holds. I think we can all agree that the mere utilization of fossil fuels (i.e. - the "object" of the action in terms of moral theology) is not intrinsically evil. If it was, then it would never be permissible to, for example, start a coal fire in your home fireplace to keep your family warm through the winter.

 

Furthermore I think we can agree that the intention (i.e. - the "end" of the action) with respect to using fossil fuels is not evil. No one wants to cause global warming. The intentions are usually good - like providing inexpensive power to the populace.

 

Thus, if the generation of carbon dioxide by means of burning fossil fuel is considered to be evil, it must be because of the circumstances surrounding the action. If the global warming advocates are correct that 1) man is causing global warming and 2) global warming is harmful, then I could understand that large scale production of carbon dioxide would be considered unethical. Frankly, I don't really know whether this is the case or not...too many conflicting "scientific" opinions. There are any number of individual circumstances that could swing the ethical argument in a particular case (such as a plant manager who removes a control device in an attempt to maximize profits at the expense of the environment), but the overall effect of global warming (if it is really being caused by man) is due to the sum of many actions/processes that, taken individually, are not morally problematic. This seems to be the problem that carbon offsetting is trying to tackle. I'm not convinced of the usefulness of carbon offsetting yet, but I don't think the analogy to the sale of indulgences is a good one.

Ace

 

Managed to miss this erudite post - bravo, an excellent argument. Having done a bit more research, I can only agree with this.

 

TLM

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what ever will they think of next?

http://www.bbj.hu/main/news_25770_gazprom+...eutral+gas.html

Gazprom offers carbon neutral gas 30 Apr 2007

Russia's giant state-owned natural gas company Gazprom will sell gas to its European Union customers along with carbon credits to offset the emissions from the burning of the fuel........more

oh, and there is another $60b for sale due to the collapse of soviet industry in the 90s

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http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?Fus...d=&Issue_id

NEW CBO REPORT EXPOSES FAILURES OF C02 CAP-AND-TRADE SCHEMES April 26, 2007

"The CBO has revealed that a C02 cap-and-trade allocation scheme will result in a transfer of wealth from poor to rich."

.....Far from being good for the economy, as advocates say, C02 allocation schemes will disproportionately burden the poor, raise taxes, increase government spending, raise gas prices, raise home energy costs and decrease wages. It is hard to imagine the CBO issuing a more devastating indictment of proposed C02 cap-and-trade schemes......................

i wonder if our govt or the eu commissoin have read this!!

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will we see more of thjis?

http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=041907B

The Lego-fication of Heavy Industry By Nick Schulz 23 Apr 2007

.................Just a few years ago, over one thousand Chinese descended upon the Ruhr valley.

"They bedded down in a makeshift dormitory in a disused building in the plant and worked twelve hours a day, seven days a week throughout the summer. Only later, after some of the German workers and managers complained, were the Chinese workers obliged to take a day off, out of respect for local laws."

In less than one year, they successfully disassembled the plant and shipped the 275,000 tons of materials and equipment to China. A manufacturing entrepreneur and a former peasant farmer named Shen Wenrong had purchased the plant and reassembled it 5,600 miles away.

This is what could be called the Lego-fication of heavy industry..................more.

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the truth is stanger than fiction?

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21796335-2,00.html

Farmer makes $1m for doing nothing at all By Joel Dullroy May 26, 2007

Peter Allen, pictured, a third-generation farmer from Moura, has signed a $1 million deal for doing nothing at all. In a historic transaction, mining company Rio Tinto bought the rights to carbon dioxide stored in 3500ha of Mr Allen's heavily vegetated property, 575km northwest of Brisbane. ...............more

nice work if you can get it!

hmmmm........could jobseekers allownace be subsidised by selling the carbon offsets generated from not working? sounds like a good idea to me!

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a little ot; the cosequences for finland of attaining 20% renewables by 2020. it really does make you wonder why we remain in the eu!

http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Finance+M...y/1135227652384

and more readably at http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2007/05/o...none-again.html

Finance Ministry official criticises preparation of EU climate policy

Raimo Sailas, a top official at the Finnish Ministry of Finance, has sharply criticised..................

a snippet

.....Yet said Sailas, this was based on the assumption that Finland could use tidal and wave energy. "This," he said, witheringly, "is the level of background work by the Commission," pointing out that, while tidal and wave energy can be used on the coasts of oceans, the waves in the Gulf of Finland will not yield much energy, and there are no tides to speak of on any of Finland's coasts.........

and the cost

......the climate is cold, the industrial base is very energy-intensive, and the location of the country is fairly remote. Emission cuts of 20 per cent would reduce Finnish GDP in 2025 by 3.4 per cent compared with a situation in which there were no reductions. This could mean the loss of 40,000 jobs.............

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quelle surprise nick!

http://environment.guardian.co.uk/climatec...2093835,00.html

Abuse and incompetence in fight against global warming

Up to 20% of carbon savings in doubt as monitoring firms criticised by UN body

Nick Davies Saturday June 2, 2007................................more

http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,2093816,00.html

Truth about Kyoto: huge profits, little carbon saved

On the eve of a G8 summit focused on climate change, Nick Davies reveals major flaws in the global system designed to reduce emissions

Saturday June 2, 2007.......more

now why didnt you put the scale of the fraud in the context of that other grreat fraud - VAT?????

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2007/05/n...masculated.html

May 26, 2007 Neutralised and emasculated

VAT fraud cost the UK Treasury £4.75bn in 2005-06 and is estimated to be worth €250bn (£170bn) annually across the EU as a whole, says a House of Lords Committee Report. These are such staggering figures that they defy human comprehension..........more

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will we see more of thjis?

http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=041907B

The Lego-fication of Heavy Industry By Nick Schulz 23 Apr 2007

.................Just a few years ago, over one thousand Chinese descended upon the Ruhr valley.

"They bedded down in a makeshift dormitory in a disused building in the plant and worked twelve hours a day, seven days a week throughout the summer. Only later, after some of the German workers and managers complained, were the Chinese workers obliged to take a day off, out of respect for local laws."

In less than one year, they successfully disassembled the plant and shipped the 275,000 tons of materials and equipment to China. A manufacturing entrepreneur and a former peasant farmer named Shen Wenrong had purchased the plant and reassembled it 5,600 miles away.

This is what could be called the Lego-fication of heavy industry..................more.

 

I suspect there is more to this story than just cost. Germany pollution regulations were probably a major factor in the plant becoming uncompetitive. Remember that Germany is the largest exporter in the world, they do not lack the management skills to create well-paid manufacturing employment. There are still 100,000 steel workers in Germany, and the country still produces 2/3rds of EU steel. However, Europe is now a modest steel producer relative to China. Mind you, everyone is modest relative to China (100 million tonnes production per quarter, twice that of Europe).

 

I recall reading a book about pollution called "Something New Under the Sun". One of the main points made is that the worst nightmare for the world would be the billions of India and China entering the consumer world. I can't see it happening. Neither country as anything like the resources to give such vast populations a high-energy consumer lifestyle - the whole world does not have that capacity. The greatest danger would be to build up the expectation in those countries, only to have it disappointed.

 

But both countries are by nature hierarchical. I don't think the elites of either nation geneuinely want their people to get rich, it's just that they are the same as every other elite - they are weaker than globalisation, so they have to go along with it. If there were a major economic collapse, I'm prepad to bet that both countries would turn inwards and go back to their old ways.

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im afraid i dont know why the plant closed

afew days ago there was a programme on C4 which included a chap from rochdale who had been buying up woodworking machinery in the uk for nothing (almost) at auction and shipping it to china whre it is now busy making kitchen units which are exported to the eu !

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/file_on_4/6720119.stm

Carbon trade scheme 'is failing'

By Julian O' Halloran BBC File On 4

The EU's carbon trading scheme has increased electricity bills, given a windfall to power companies and failed to cut greenhouse gases, it is claimed.

An investigation by BBC Radio 4's File on 4 programme has found that after two and half years the scheme has yet to cut in carbon dioxide emissions. ...........................more

File On 4 is broadcast Tuesday 5 June 2007 at 2000 BST and repeated on Sunday 10 June 2007, or listen again http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/radio4_aod....?radio4/fileon4

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the interviewer seemed confused; he seenmed to be complaining that electricity prices were up 7% due to cap nd trade. i thought that was the whole jpoint - to make electricity more expensive

 

and now for some thing different

http://www.freezerbox.com/archive/article.php?id=499

The Bored Whore of Kyoto

BY ALEXANDER ZAITCHIK 06.01.2007

.................Thus not only does Russia not have to make any cuts in its emissions during the next four years, but it was handed thousands of Kyoto-stamped "emission reduction credits" -- basically carbon stock that can be sold on the international market or saved for an unseasonably rainy day. Europe was so desperate for Putin's signature it also gave Russia millions of "carbon sink" credits for its vast tracts of virgin forests...................

people on here moan ablout fiat money, well this idea must be the ultimate money printing scheme

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an eerily familiar story!!!

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/sto...PStory/Business

Green trading market could end up with investors seeing red

BRIAN MILNER June 30, 2007

..............But if you pull back the curtain a bit, you see a fragmented market distinctly lacking in oversight, credible analysis, safeguards or even a method to resolve disputes. It's a market that has only been existence for a few short years and owes its development largely to the United Nations, which isn't exactly a font of knowledge about how global financial markets work...........

and this says it all!!

http://josh.sg/2007/07/zero_knowledge.html

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hmmm.............wonder if they'll win; article shows what a pottyidea emissions trading is!

http://www.bbj.hu/main/news_29532_eu+wrang...nto+courts.html

EU wrangling on carbon emissions moves into courts 01 Aug 2007

Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Estonia have all started legal action against pollution quotas imposed by the European Commission. The arguments they use are similar to those made by China and other emerging markets: that the strict limits will hurt their economic growth. On Tuesday, Latvia became the latest to challenge regulators at a European-level court, highlighting the growing tension in the European Union over the sacrifices needed to tackle climate change..................................more

remonds me of this http://www.freecarbonoffsets.com/home.do

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well, who'd have thought?

http://www.businessgreen.com/business-gree...trading-slammed

EU trading scheme slammed for "double counting" carbon credits

New report accuses EU's emissions trading scheme of lack of transparency over practice that allows different firms to reuse the same carbon allowances

James Murray, BusinessGreen, 26 Nov 2007

The EU's emissions trading scheme (ETS) has been accused of systematic double counting of carbon allowances by a new report released last week..................................

and ends with this priceless comment

........."That national registries can recycle submitted allowances to other firms is a crazy system."

whats wrong with that? after all the eu is really keen on recycling but then the eu accounts have been very strongly criticised every year for the last 12 years or more?

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