More Gore

This fellow makes an interesting claim about Al Gore's supposed carbon neutrality: it's really just a dodge to fatten his own checkbook. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, just don't try to cloak it as eco-sensitivity.)

I have to admit, I have a hard time following this whole carbon credit thing. To me, it seems as though carbon credits are simply a way for rich folks to continue all the polluting they want, while looking down their noses at us dirty, dirty little people.

Since the carbon credits are losing me, I certainly cannot follow Gore's self-dealing in them through Generation Investment Management.

Maybe one of you that is smarter than I am can explain it.


ajtooley said...

I look at it this way:

I've started a consulting firm, EnviroBuck, which identifies and invests in companies which meet a standard of environmental responsibility defined, of course, by me.

Among those standards are requirements that the company have a high ranking in KLD’s Select Social Index Fund; have received awards from state governments for environmentally-responsible training programs; and provide hands-on and financial contributions to 100 or more environmental projects.

As it turns out, my bank meets those standards, so I can feel quite good about investing in their programs. I do so by contributing faithfully to a checking and savings account, so that they have cash available to continue doing their good environmental work.

If I myself owned a company that met the standards I've defined, I could invest in that, too.

By the way, if any of you would like to join me in encouraging Wells Fargo's continued support of environmental programs, I'd be happy to accept your donations on their behalf, manage the funds for you through my already-prepared accounts, and send you a certificate of participation to ensure that others know you've done your bit to offset your environmental impact.

Together, we can save the earth!

Iowahawk does it up funnier, but you get the point.

WolfPack said...

I actually took an economics class on this back in the 80's (environmental economics). The theory is sound if it is agreed that CO2 needs to be reduced. Carbon Credits are an economically efficient free market solution to pollution. It's just a way to acknowledge that different entities have different profit potentials in polluting. One entity might make $100 profit per pollution unit while another might make $10. If a tradable right to pollute is created with an overall fixed amount of polluting rights, the second guy can sell his rights to the first guy and allow a higher use per unit of pollution released while the overall pollution levels are contained. Similar to the way liquor licenses work in this state. The problem comes when you try to create such a program across borders. The incentive for a country cheat is high, especially when they are essentially self regulating as far as reporting and monitoring are concerned. The poorer the country the lower their ability to self regulate and the greater their incentive to cheat (read KYOTO).