The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Money For Nothing and Climate Change for Free

One of the main stumbling blocks at Copenhagen is the US’s insistence on outside verification of carbon reducation claims.   China doesn’t want this verification, but the US is right to insist on it.

Chinese econonmic statistics are even more fictional than their American counterparts.  They are what the Chinese want them to be.  Moreover, carbon offsets in particular, according to those I know who have spent time in China and are involved in the industry, are often entirely fictional.  They exist only on paper.

It’s one of the best business in the world. You get money for nothing more than some fraudulent paperwork.

China doesn’t want independent confirmation not just because they want to continue the fraud games, but because independent confirmation could be used as a cross-check on many of the official economic statistics.  If you know how many power plants, factories, cars and so on there are: if you know how fast forests are being cut down, coal dug up and so on, then you can figure out what the economic statistics should really look like.

Reagan once said to “trust but verify”.  There’s a lot of money to be made in the carbon game, not just by China but by many other countries and private interests.  Anything that isn’t verified is bunk and worthless and even outside of China the evidence is that much of the carbon offset market is already fraudulent.

As with health care “reform”, a deal at any cost isn’t worth it.

If countries are really serious about global warming, then what they would do is set up a system whereby the amount of carbon created by a country is taken out of any purchases by that country of another country’s currencies, or would build them into tarifs, so that tarifs are based on the level of carbon that country produces.  And if a country won’t allow verification, then they will estimate it and take the high end, worst estimate.

Except, of course, that that would require reforming foreign exchange markets and rethinking the modern version of “free” trade.  And that the powers that be want to do even less than they want to save a billion or more lives due to global warming.


Better to pass a bad bill than no bill?


A Cadillac Plan is one where you get the care you need


  1. “You get money for nothing more than some fraudulent paperwork.” Well, TBTB should be well aware of that issue, since over the last thirty years they’ve worked hard to make fraudulent paperwork the basis of our economy. So, paradoxically, I’m sure we can rely on them to get this right, unless the Chinese manage to buy them off somehow.

  2. Countries are going to act in their perceived national interest. The overarching interest of developing countries like China and India is raising the standard of living, which in many regions of these countries is at the subsistence level.

    The US and other developed nations blew their chance at influencing the debate by refusing for so long it even talk about to price in externalities for so long. Moreover, it’s by no means a sure thing that effective legislation can be passed now to do it.

    Bottom line. The developing countries are in a race with the developing world to stay ahead, and the developing world wants the developed world to take a hit to let them catch up.

    The only incentive that will change this dynamic is an overwhelming sense of impending doom, and the world is not there yet. When it is, it will be much too late to do very much about it.

  3. Celsius 233

    Well, it’s pretty obvious the majority of the planet isn’t blinded by the “Obama” rhetoric. They know bullshit when they see/hear it!
    The U.S. isn’t the only superpower; there’s the rest of the world!
    We do indeed live in interesting times, no?

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