Monday, July 23, 2007

Selling toxic waste.

It's time for politicians to wake up to the reality that they can't solve all the world's problems by moving money around.

Their latest soon-to-be-regulated industry is carbon offsetting. This is a scheme whereby you do nothing at all to cut your greenhouse gas emissions, but pay someone else to worry about it for you.

It's the same as if you paid me not to mow my lawn more than once a month so you could mow yours twice a week. The greenhouse gas emissions are the same as if we both mowed weekly; you are, in effect, buying my emissions quota. If anyone's interested, I'm open to offers.

Note the key phrase 'the greenhouse gas emissions are the same' in the above. Paying me to not mow my lawn so you can do yours more often does not result in an overall reduction in emissions. If we both mowed once a month, that would work. That's not how the carbon trading system works.

If there's going to be a serious cut in global emissions of noxious fumes (which I regard as a good idea, whether it has anything to do with global warming or not) then everyone has to do it. Letting some buy their way out of responsibility is senseless.

'I have a problem. You, take this money and worry about it for me'. That's pretty much it.

How long before the nuclear industry pay us to bury radioactive waste in our gardens?

And what do we do if it makes the grass grow faster?

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