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(The New York Times)   UN carbon credit program that was designed to reduce harmful greenhouse gases does the exact opposite and at a huge profit to polluters   (nytimes.com) divider line 117
    More: Obvious, carbon credits, greenhouse gases, Jiangsu Province, refrigeration, European Commissioner, environmental issues  
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2705 clicks; posted to Geek » on 10 Aug 2012 at 11:53 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-10 08:31:26 AM  
images3.wikia.nocookie.net
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-08-10 08:46:51 AM  
Like many times before, a government program reminds me of Major Major's father's farm. (Relevant passage from Catch-22 quoted here)
 
2012-08-10 09:08:48 AM  
Well here is a clear case for the climate change deniers to trumpet. More harm than good is being done in the name of green industry.

What a sad day and a great lesson for all of us.
 
2012-08-10 09:13:26 AM  
I'm shocked..SHOCKED I TELL YOU!
 
2012-08-10 09:22:51 AM  
This is what happens when governments' create artificial markets.
 
2012-08-10 10:23:31 AM  
So, because an initial attempt at carbon trading was poorly conceived, we should ditch the whole idea.
 
2012-08-10 10:38:25 AM  

Actual Farking: So, because an initial attempt at carbon trading was poorly conceived, we should ditch the whole idea.


this.

its not like the possibility that some types of carbon credit sales may harm the environment in unintended ways wasn't considered. I've studied some of the research for buying of carbon credits in exchange for preserving forests for a magazine article. It seems that a lot of it includes some mention of the possibility that someone could preserve currently threatened forest A to get paid for the credits, while moving on to tearing up forest B which up until then was pretty much being left alone.

i'm not as familiar with the other types of carbon credit programs for reducing chemical emissions and such. But maybe the model wasn't that poorly conceived. I would assume that the possibility of similar unintended consequences such as the one in TFA were considered and that the model needed to be implemented on some level to catch these flaws, study them and then determine a way (if possible) to eliminate them or (if necessary) abandon the model entirely.
 
2012-08-10 10:44:37 AM  
I was assured that global warming is a myth.
 
2012-08-10 10:54:33 AM  

kbronsito: Actual Farking: So, because an initial attempt at carbon trading was poorly conceived, we should ditch the whole idea.

this.

its not like the possibility that some types of carbon credit sales may harm the environment in unintended ways wasn't considered. I've studied some of the research for buying of carbon credits in exchange for preserving forests for a magazine article. It seems that a lot of it includes some mention of the possibility that someone could preserve currently threatened forest A to get paid for the credits, while moving on to tearing up forest B which up until then was pretty much being left alone.

i'm not as familiar with the other types of carbon credit programs for reducing chemical emissions and such. But maybe the model wasn't that poorly conceived. I would assume that the possibility of similar unintended consequences such as the one in TFA were considered and that the model needed to be implemented on some level to catch these flaws, study them and then determine a way (if possible) to eliminate them or (if necessary) abandon the model entirely.


And eventually the regulators became aware of the problem and they are adapting the program to address it. This is how things work.

We only need to look at the Clean Air Act's Acid Rain Program to see a pollution credit trading system that has been broadly successful. It's also worth noting that it was signed by the first president Bush.
 
2012-08-10 11:09:47 AM  

Actual Farking: So, because an initial attempt at carbon trading was poorly conceived, we should ditch the whole idea.


No but they will rightfully use this screw-up for the next 100 years. It's a shame and a lesson for all do-gooders.

// I think Mark Twain said, "No good deed goes unpunished."
 
2012-08-10 11:47:53 AM  
Seems like they are having the same problem the USSR had when it established a command economy - it's impossible to artificially maintain a market equilibrium and savvy market participants will always exploit the inefficiencies.
 
2012-08-10 12:02:37 PM  
Who knew?

Oh,wait. Anyone with more than two brain cells outside of the UN. Most pointless group in history.
 
2012-08-10 12:03:19 PM  

thomps: Seems like they are having the same problem the USSR had when it established a command economy - it's impossible to artificially maintain a market equilibrium and savvy market participants will always exploit the inefficiencies.


This is hardly the sole province of command economies. Make a rule, no matter what or where, and humans will seek to find loopholes or unintended consequences of said rule to exploit. It happens in law, in economics, in government. And no, free-market economies are not exempt. They have their own rules which can be exploited, as any of the Gilded Age robber barons could explain in great detail.

The answer is simple. You close the loopholes and revise the regulations to eliminate the current exploits - knowing full well that there will be new attempts to find new exploits of the revised rules because that's what humans do. This is why regulations need to be revised and updated promptly when exploits are detected. Regulation is a process more than a goal.

What you don't do is throw your hands up in to the air and declare the whole thing useless. That's a cop out response that only serves those who would most seek to exploit whatever it is that the regulations address in the first place.
 
2012-08-10 12:04:40 PM  
GAMERS!!!!!
 
2012-08-10 12:07:28 PM  

KiltedBastich: thomps: Seems like they are having the same problem the USSR had when it established a command economy - it's impossible to artificially maintain a market equilibrium and savvy market participants will always exploit the inefficiencies.

This is hardly the sole province of command economies. Make a rule, no matter what or where, and humans will seek to find loopholes or unintended consequences of said rule to exploit. It happens in law, in economics, in government. And no, free-market economies are not exempt. They have their own rules which can be exploited, as any of the Gilded Age robber barons could explain in great detail.

The answer is simple. You close the loopholes and revise the regulations to eliminate the current exploits - knowing full well that there will be new attempts to find new exploits of the revised rules because that's what humans do. This is why regulations need to be revised and updated promptly when exploits are detected. Regulation is a process more than a goal.

What you don't do is throw your hands up in to the air and declare the whole thing useless. That's a cop out response that only serves those who would most seek to exploit whatever it is that the regulations address in the first place.


completely agree with the idea that you need to close the loopholes and adjust regulations, but in this situation it will be more like bureaucratic whack-a-mole without any help from markets driving equilibrium (which obviously doesn't happen on its own without a layer of regulations as well).
 
2012-08-10 12:07:45 PM  

slayer199: This is what happens when governments' allow private industry to write legislation


FTFY

And wtf is up with that apostrophe
 
2012-08-10 12:09:27 PM  
 
2012-08-10 12:15:05 PM  

thomps: completely agree with the idea that you need to close the loopholes and adjust regulations, but in this situation it will be more like bureaucratic whack-a-mole without any help from markets driving equilibrium (which obviously doesn't happen on its own without a layer of regulations as well).


Why so? This is hardly the first time humans have created markets for something that exist primarily as an abstract concept. Look at the financial market. Most of the products are just as arcane and difficult for the lay individual to understand as carbon credits, and yet they make vast profits off them. And carbon credits are not the first example of this kind of artificial market. It was very effective for dealing with acid rain, after all.

The problem is not really that complicated. There's an exploit people are using to make large short-term profit that is undercutting the intent of the market. Because of those profits, those benefitting are unwilling to agree to changes to the regulations to eliminate the exploit and restore the intended results of the market. That means it's going to be a mess, for sure, but it's not really unexpected that such things can happen. All you can do is slog through the mess, because the original goal of the regulations remains an issue just as compelling now as when the carbon credit market was set up in the first place.
 
2012-08-10 12:17:22 PM  

DesertDemonWY: Consider this: If the goal is to stabilize the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at a low level by 2050 (in precise terms, at 450 parts per million or less), then the world would need to deploy a nuclear power plant worth of carbon free energy every day between now and 2050. For wind or solar, the figures are even more daunting.

/good luck with that


And so of course we should do nothing at all, then? How does that make any sense?

Tell me, are you familiar with the idea of partial solutions, and how you can deploy multiple such solutions at once to address a larger problem that cannot be handled entirely by any individual such solution? It's not that complicated a concept, and it's how most complex real world problems get handled. There are no magic bullets.
 
2012-08-10 12:22:20 PM  
blogs.seattleweekly.com

HA HA Laughing himself all the way to the bank.
 
2012-08-10 12:24:39 PM  
They set the credit cap to high.

Way to go!

It worked for acid rain here in the states, and cheaper to. 1/4 the estimated cost.
 
2012-08-10 12:25:41 PM  

KiltedBastich: Make a rule, no matter what or where, and humans will seek to find loopholes or unintended consequences of said rule to exploit.


Variation of Campbell's Law ...
 
2012-08-10 12:26:40 PM  

Actual Farking: So, because an initial attempt at carbon trading was poorly conceived, we should ditch the whole idea.


Well, see, any time any plan of action is proposed to mitigate carbon emissions is proposed, it falls into one of two categories:

1. It's just meaningless grandstanding that won't help anything, or

2. It's a draconian penalty on industry that will cripple the economy, so there's no way we can support it in good conscience.

There's no middle ground. Obviously the answer is to do nothing and assume the problem will go away.
 
2012-08-10 12:27:32 PM  

DesertDemonWY: Consider this: If the goal is to stabilize the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at a low level by 2050 (in precise terms, at 450 parts per million or less), then the world would need to deploy a nuclear power plant worth of carbon free energy every day between now and 2050. For wind or solar, the figures are even more daunting.

/good luck with that


Then we should just give up and not try right? Not having complete 100% success is not the same as failing, and is not the same as making it worse.
 
2012-08-10 12:28:37 PM  

Ambitwistor: KiltedBastich: Make a rule, no matter what or where, and humans will seek to find loopholes or unintended consequences of said rule to exploit.

Variation of Campbell's Law ...


I would actually say that Campbell's Law is a more precisely described example of the larger phenomenon. Humans make rules, and then find exploits in those rules. It's just something you have to take into account.
 
2012-08-10 12:40:04 PM  

Martian_Astronomer: Obviously the answer is to do nothing and assume the problem will go away.


Or pretend the problem doesn't exist in the first place.
 
2012-08-10 12:40:22 PM  

KiltedBastich: thomps: completely agree with the idea that you need to close the loopholes and adjust regulations, but in this situation it will be more like bureaucratic whack-a-mole without any help from markets driving equilibrium (which obviously doesn't happen on its own without a layer of regulations as well).

Why so? This is hardly the first time humans have created markets for something that exist primarily as an abstract concept. Look at the financial market. Most of the products are just as arcane and difficult for the lay individual to understand as carbon credits, and yet they make vast profits off them. And carbon credits are not the first example of this kind of artificial market. It was very effective for dealing with acid rain, after all.

The problem is not really that complicated. There's an exploit people are using to make large short-term profit that is undercutting the intent of the market. Because of those profits, those benefitting are unwilling to agree to changes to the regulations to eliminate the exploit and restore the intended results of the market. That means it's going to be a mess, for sure, but it's not really unexpected that such things can happen. All you can do is slog through the mess, because the original goal of the regulations remains an issue just as compelling now as when the carbon credit market was set up in the first place.


The issue as I see it is that the prices and exchange rates are fixed regardless of market supply and demand. This creates additional issues.not insurmountable but still issues.
 
2012-08-10 12:41:56 PM  

KiltedBastich: DesertDemonWY: Consider this: If the goal is to stabilize the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at a low level by 2050 (in precise terms, at 450 parts per million or less), then the world would need to deploy a nuclear power plant worth of carbon free energy every day between now and 2050. For wind or solar, the figures are even more daunting.

/good luck with that

And so of course we should do nothing at all, then? How does that make any sense?

Tell me, are you familiar with the idea of partial solutions, and how you can deploy multiple such solutions at once to address a larger problem that cannot be handled entirely by any individual such solution? It's not that complicated a concept, and it's how most complex real world problems get handled. There are no magic bullets.


Do nothing about what exactly? I'd just like to see all the money being wasted on so-called carbon pollution be spent on actual pollution and other real world problems. Trusting the U.N. to handle anything is no solution at all
 
2012-08-10 12:42:50 PM  

Actual Farking: kbronsito: Actual Farking: So, because an initial attempt at carbon trading was poorly conceived, we should ditch the whole idea.

this.

its not like the possibility that some types of carbon credit sales may harm the environment in unintended ways wasn't considered. I've studied some of the research for buying of carbon credits in exchange for preserving forests for a magazine article. It seems that a lot of it includes some mention of the possibility that someone could preserve currently threatened forest A to get paid for the credits, while moving on to tearing up forest B which up until then was pretty much being left alone.

i'm not as familiar with the other types of carbon credit programs for reducing chemical emissions and such. But maybe the model wasn't that poorly conceived. I would assume that the possibility of similar unintended consequences such as the one in TFA were considered and that the model needed to be implemented on some level to catch these flaws, study them and then determine a way (if possible) to eliminate them or (if necessary) abandon the model entirely.

And eventually the regulators became aware of the problem and they are adapting the program to address it. This is how things work.

We only need to look at the Clean Air Act's Acid Rain Program to see a pollution credit trading system that has been broadly successful. It's also worth noting that it was signed by the first president Bush.


No, this is how governments slowly tighten their stranglehold on liberty. It's never right; it's never enough; and it just goes on and on. Fark you, cannibals.
 
2012-08-10 12:42:50 PM  

Martian_Astronomer: Actual Farking: So, because an initial attempt at carbon trading was poorly conceived, we should ditch the whole idea.

Well, see, any time any plan of action is proposed to mitigate carbon emissions is proposed, it falls into one of two categories:

1. It's just meaningless grandstanding that won't help anything, or

2. It's a draconian penalty on industry that will cripple the economy, so there's no way we can support it in good conscience.

There's no middle ground. Obviously the answer is to do nothing and assume the problem will go away.


No assumption needed. The problem will go away, once humans are extinct, the amount of pollution created will drop substantially.
 
2012-08-10 12:44:58 PM  
Slimy, underhanded corporations carry out morally reprehensible acts to profit from regulation designed to help people. News at eleven...
 
2012-08-10 12:46:01 PM  
Arnold Schwartzenegger enjoyed the fame and attention of being the "Governator". But he didn't like the fact that the gig was in Sacramento, the state capital of California. You know, because his wife, kids, and maid were in Los Angeles. So he commuted by private plane back and forth every work day. "But that's OK", Arnold assured us. "BECAUSE I ALWAYS PURCHASE THE APPROPRIATE RECOMMENDED CARBON OFFSET CREDITS".
 
2012-08-10 12:46:33 PM  
Also, numerous scammers just print their own "credits" off an inkjet printer and sell them to oil refineries. The buyer wants credits to offset their output and they don't give a rat's ass whether the pieces of paper are legit or not. They have zero interest in actually determining if the seller runs a company that is capable of creating the credit or not since nobody else is checking or cares. The system basically created a market in a fake product - which, since there is no actual commodity that is bought or sold, is insanely easy to fake.
 
2012-08-10 12:47:42 PM  

bigstoopidbruce: Actual Farking: We only need to look at the Clean Air Act's Acid Rain Program to see a pollution credit trading system that has been broadly successful. It's also worth noting that it was signed by the first president Bush.

No, this is how governments slowly tighten their stranglehold on liberty. It's never right; it's never enough; and it just goes on and on. Fark you, cannibals.


Yeah, we should just let polluters create unlimited environmental damage without oversight. I know! We'll let the free market solve the problem of negative externalities that are invisible to the market.
 
2012-08-10 12:50:41 PM  

DesertDemonWY: Trusting the U.N. to handle anything is no solution at all


You mean I forewent all that Halloween candy as a kid to Trick or Treat for UNICEF, all for nothing!?!
 
2012-08-10 01:01:15 PM  

bigstoopidbruce: No, this is how governments slowly tighten their stranglehold on liberty. It's never right; it's never enough; and it just goes on and on.



So your argument here is environmental protection is hurting your liberty in some way? Is that your final answer? Can you cite the section in the bill of rights that is being violated?
 
2012-08-10 01:01:15 PM  

Kevin72: Arnold Schwartzenegger enjoyed the fame and attention of being the "Governator". But he didn't like the fact that the gig was in Sacramento, the state capital of California. You know, because his wife, kids, and maid were in Los Angeles. So he commuted by private plane back and forth every work day. "But that's OK", Arnold assured us. "BECAUSE I ALWAYS PURCHASE THE APPROPRIATE RECOMMENDED CARBON OFFSET CREDITS".


This is true of basically any politician.
 
2012-08-10 01:02:50 PM  

Ambitwistor: Yeah, we should just let polluters create unlimited environmental damage without oversight. I know! We'll let the free market solve the problem of negative externalities that are invisible to the market.



This is what happens when idiots don't pay attention and barely pass high school then go on to be libertarians.
 
2012-08-10 01:06:51 PM  

intelligent comment below: So your argument here is environmental protection is hurting your liberty in some way? Is that your final answer? Can you cite the section in the bill of rights that is being violated?


Freedom is freedom, including the freedom to pollute. Anybody who thinks differently is a dirty communist.
 
2012-08-10 01:08:25 PM  
Well, this proves once and for all that we should have LESS greenhouse gas regulation, and just sit back and watch the world burn.
 
2012-08-10 01:09:39 PM  

thomps: The issue as I see it is that the prices and exchange rates are fixed regardless of market supply and demand. This creates additional issues.not insurmountable but still issues.


Oh, agreed. I just don't think that's a reason not to try and move forward with the idea anyhow. It just needs correction.

DesertDemonWY: Do nothing about what exactly? I'd just like to see all the money being wasted on so-called carbon pollution be spent on actual pollution and other real world problems. Trusting the U.N. to handle anything is no solution at all


"So-called" carbon pollution? Oh, I see. You're a denialist. How typical. In that case, I am not going to bother wasting time on you until you take the time to educate yourself.
 
2012-08-10 01:14:42 PM  

intelligent comment below: This is what happens when idiots don't pay attention and barely pass high school then go on to be libertarians.


Ironically, carbon pricing is about the most libertarian possible solution to the problem. If you want the free market to solve a problem with the least possible government intervention, you make it aware of prices so it can pass on appropriate price signals. However, you need an entity outside of the market to internalize the externalities (which is why they're called externalities). From a capitalist perspective, that's basically what government is for.
 
2012-08-10 01:15:17 PM  

Shazam999: Kevin72: Arnold Schwartzenegger enjoyed the fame and attention of being the "Governator". But he didn't like the fact that the gig was in Sacramento, the state capital of California. You know, because his wife, kids, and maid were in Los Angeles. So he commuted by private plane back and forth every work day. "But that's OK", Arnold assured us. "BECAUSE I ALWAYS PURCHASE THE APPROPRIATE RECOMMENDED CARBON OFFSET CREDITS".

This is true of basically any politician.


Is that some kind of BSABSVR? Because it seems unique to Arnold to fly back and forth daily. Most legislators in California stay in Sacramento though the 1.5 hour drive to the Bay Area I suppose is not unreasonable.
 
2012-08-10 01:16:12 PM  

KiltedBastich: "So-called" carbon pollution? Oh, I see. You're a denialist.


CO2 isn't pollution!! It's necessary for life itself!!! And therefore can have no harmful effects to life !!!11!!!leleventy!!
 
2012-08-10 01:23:34 PM  

Ambitwistor: KiltedBastich: "So-called" carbon pollution? Oh, I see. You're a denialist.

CO2 isn't pollution!! It's necessary for life itself!!! And therefore can have no harmful effects to life !!!11!!!leleventy!!


Yeah, I know! Just like water, or heat, or food, or oxygen!

Everyone knows that things we need in moderate amounts to survive could never hurt us in large quantities! To say otherwise is just crazy talk!

/derp
 
2012-08-10 01:23:50 PM  

Kevin72: Arnold Schwartzenegger enjoyed the fame and attention of being the "Governator". But he didn't like the fact that the gig was in Sacramento, the state capital of California. You know, because his wife, kids, and maid were in Los Angeles. So he commuted by private plane back and forth every work day. "But that's OK", Arnold assured us. "BECAUSE I ALWAYS PURCHASE THE APPROPRIATE RECOMMENDED CARBON OFFSET CREDITS".


"Zing zing the coffers ring, out from hell his soul will spring!"
 
2012-08-10 01:24:15 PM  

Actual Farking: So, because an initial attempt at carbon trading was poorly conceived, we should ditch the whole idea.


No... never. If regulation has unintended consequences, the answer is always more regulation!
 
2012-08-10 01:26:55 PM  

Vast and Trunkless: Actual Farking: So, because an initial attempt at carbon trading was poorly conceived, we should ditch the whole idea.

No... never. If regulation has unintended consequences, the answer is always more regulation!


More? Maybe, but not necessarily. Revised and updated, yes. Your answer demonstrates that you have not thought out your response in the context of the inevitable human tendency to seek out and exploit loopholes.

Problems with existing regulation as humans seek to exploit them is not surprising. It is the norm. Regulation is a process that requires frequent correction.
 
2012-08-10 01:27:36 PM  

Vast and Trunkless: No... never. If regulation has unintended consequences, the answer is always more regulation!


Frequently, yes. Though you probably thought you were being sarcastic.
 
2012-08-10 01:32:50 PM  

KiltedBastich: Regulation is a process that requires frequent correction.


Part of the problem.
 
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