August 8, 2012

"Carbon Credits Gone Awry Raise Output of Harmful Gas."

Manufacturers "quickly figured out that they could earn one carbon credit by eliminating one ton of carbon dioxide, but could earn more than 11,000 credits by simply destroying a ton of an obscure waste gas normally released in the manufacturing of a widely used coolant gas."
That is because that byproduct has a huge global warming effect. The credits could be sold on international markets, earning tens of millions of dollars a year.

That incentive has driven plants in the developing world not only to increase production of the coolant gas but also to keep it high — a huge problem because the coolant itself contributes to global warming and depletes the ozone later.
If they "quickly figured" it out, then it was obviously always foreseeable, but we're told "the United Nations... established what seemed a sensible system." Why could it "seem" sensible? Only through outrageous negligence or deliberate corruption. Which was it?

39 comments:

Matthew Sablan said...

"Only through outrageous negligence or deliberate corruption. Which was it?"

Embrace the conjunctive powers of and.

Sorun said...

C'mon, we all knew the whole carbon credits thing was going to be half scam, half bureaucratic clusterfuck. Anyone not know that?

wyo sis said...

Hmmmmm.
A socialist, green, Gaia worshipping, Man Bear Pig idea backfired.
Wow. Who could have predicted that?

Nathan Alexander said...

"Tax the rat farms".

--The Patrician, in one of Terry Pratchett's books.

The Drill SGT said...

Given that is the NYT, you have to ask a salient question.

Since the US contributes about 25% of the cost of most UN programs, are we funding this scam?

Since it is the NYT and they didn't answer the question, I, among many, assume the answer is yes.

RJ said...

"Unexpected Consequences" are only unexpected when you're a poor thinker, or have a static model of the world (one where people don't react to new incentives).

Government employees tend to be poor thinkers and generally picture the world in static terms.

chickelit said...

"When you subsidized something, you tend to get more of it" seems apt. Al Gore knew this when he invented carbon credit trading schemes.

Dante said...

We should all be happy, as this increases the wealth transfer to developing countries.

chickelit said...

We should all be happy, as this increases the wealth transfer to developing countries.

Outsourcing wealth?

tim in vermont said...

Don't start looking into global warming! You will stop believing in it.

Look at Harry Reid's other lie about the cherry blossoms.

LarsPorsena said...

How would you like your change for that $100 sir, in
carbon credits, Confederate bills, or quatloos?

Michael said...

When will we ever learn that the free markets have people much smarter than the makers of well intended laws? Every new bit of legislation creates market opportunities for some enterprising business person who can rightly point out that he didn't create it himself.

PatCA said...

Someone must have gotten very rich with all this trading going on. Wonder who.

KLDAVIS said...

Do not judge them based on these consequences...they were unintended!

Now, Mitt personally boarded up that steel mill and gave that old lady cancer. It's just a fact, I heard it from a guy.

traditionalguy said...

It's a religion using a cartoon delusion of the end of the world from totally harmless gas.

So why would they care whether a totally harmless gas increased or decreased.

No one cares except the mental midgets Green Guilt Cult true believers. The cult's High Priests who made up the cartoon delusion know it's totally false.

AllenS said...

Are carbon credits worth more than the Obama plate and coin collections?

Carnifex said...

My Nonno, the one that was ex-mafia had a saying he learned there. Pass a new law, make us some more money. Them ol' wops were sharp as their stiletto's.

AprilApple said...

I’m beginning to think that the left don’t really care about the environment, just about lining their own pockets.

Patrick said...

Brought to you by the folks that think they are smart enough to run the economy.

ndspinelli said...

AllenS, LOL, you sarcastic bastard you.

chickelit said...

The obvious global solution to the problem (which is not being discussed) is to regulate and eventually abolish air conditioning. There is yet to be invented a refrigerant which is also not a greenhouse gas. But it is too early to discuss that; its time is not yet.

Marshal said...

chickelit said...
We should all be happy, as this increases the wealth transfer to developing countries.

Outsourcing wealth?


The term is offshoring.

Outsourcing is hiring an IT service instead of an IT employee. Offshoring is moving an operation to India, China, etc in pursuit of labor savings.

chickelit said...

Thanks, Marshall!

The Drill SGT said...

Marshal said...

Outsourcing wealth?

The term is offshoring.

Outsourcing is hiring an IT service instead of an IT employee


When GM buys tires from Goodyear instead of making them inhouse, that is outsourcing.

Moving the plant making cars for the US market to China is offshoring.

Hagar said...

The left's cry at these end results is always, "But we didn't intend fot this to happen!"

I also remember reading an article about the Tata Corp. that it was pointed out to the management that they could make something like 40 billion dollars profit by somehow playing musical chairs with steel plants and trading carbon credits. They hesitated, felt it was not right, but hey, 40 billion is real money even for Tata, so they wound up going for it.

FleetUSA said...

Unintended consequences are natural to government activity which starts with mind numbing legislation and is delivered by numbed bureaucrats without any risk to their jobs.

Rabel said...

These reporters are a little late to the story.

NY Times Dec. 2006

X said...

seems like a typical and predictable regulatory outcome.

sfw said...

Hayek "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design."

Unintended consequences who would of thought it?

Patrick said...

sfw-

That Hayek quote ought to be handwritten on every piece of legislation, by every legislator voting for it, and by the President when it is signed.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Unintended consequences. Greenies and enviro-nuts are seriously retarded.

In an email conversation with the editor of a local newspaper we are discussing the recent forest fires caused by lightening and by "controlled" burns that get out of control. Instead of allowing companies to log the waste wood from dead trees and to thin the forests of underbrush....and then to burn such wood in co-generation plants to create electricity, the green idiots want to leave it just lying there. THEN when we get a fire it is a doozy.

Asking the editor why don't we do the cogen thing....He says that is bad CO2 for the environment.

Asking isn't it also bad for the environment to allow hundreds and thousands of acres of forest to burn up and spew carbon dioxide and soot into the atmosphere.

Oh...no he says. That is "GOOD" CO2 because it is natural.

WTF??? Same wood in a controlled co-generation environment is bad...Uncontrolled wildfires burning up the forests and killing all the animals in it is GOOD???? You just can't make up this type of perverted logic.

bgates said...

When will we ever learn that the free markets have people much smarter than the makers of well intended laws?

Not until we get legislators with good intentions.

Bruce Hayden said...

When will we ever learn that the free markets have people much smarter than the makers of well intended laws? Every new bit of legislation creates market opportunities for some enterprising business person who can rightly point out that he didn't create it himself.

This is one of the fatal flaws of progressivism/socialism - that there a invariably lot of smarter people who will game the system than those who will design it, no matter how many doctorate degrees they may have.

Their theory is that if we just get the best and brightest designing their systems, that they will be efficient, effective, and bullet proof. But, this fails because even if they were to have the brightest doing their designs (and, that clearly hasn't happened with the Obama Administration), the sum of the intelligence on the other side is many orders of magnitude greater.

To some extent, a good analogy might be the open source movement, where software is designed, then broken and debugged, by a community instead of a small group of highly skilled software engineers. Works much better, and software is to the point right now, that even the best development teams can no longer handle the complexity - as exemplified by the problems that Microsoft invariably has with its software.

To some extent, this is similar to what we saw here, with the small group of supposedly great minds thinking up this great system, and then the crowd or community easily breaks the system, exploiting it for their own benefit to great effect.

Besides, the idea of carbon credits was stupid in the first place - it seems like it was designed in order to be exploited by the AlGores of this world, but they weren't fast enough, or smart enough this time.

Cindy Martin said...

Typical government intervention of not seeing the forest for the trees.

Cindy Martin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rusty said...

Government entity creates a market.
Market gets exploited in ways not foreseen by the government.





Comedy ensues.


Honestly, show of hands, who didn't see this coming?

Synova said...

Is the question really why didn't *this* work out the right way? As if it's separate from an overarching reality, it's own thing, with a specific goal?

Because as far as I can see it's all about optics. Optics, optics, optics.

People must be *seen* to be doing something, to be caring about the right things, and having the right attitudes.

Because it's never about how well a program works, is it? It's about caring the right way and having the right emotions and being seen to be one of the good guys.

This is a general principle that can be applied to the touchy-feelie folks and their politics over and over and over again.

Anyone fussing about the sale of indulgences... I mean "carbon credits"... was a mean hater denier flat-earth blah blah blah *conservative*. And yes, many many of us were pointing out all along that the whole concept, either applied to individuals who paid for their virtue, or businesses or *countries* who took money from someone else so that the someone else could *feel* virtuous, lacked all conceptual sense.

Lacking conceptual sense, how could it have practical sense?

But the answer to that, of course, is just that those who complained of the senselessness simply didn't understand the whole of it... or else we were denialist haters who want the Earth destroyed. It's terrifying, or as one of my teachers explained... believing wrongly about global warming is *dangerous*.

Was it ever about anything other than proving that one held the correct beliefs? Ever?

You've got the rich man praying aloud in the temple... look at me, G-d, at how pure I am, at the good I do, all the money I give to the poor, how I'm not like *that* guy over there, who is a sinner.

It's about optics.

PatCA said...

Hayek called this the "fatal conceit," the idea that someone could possibly know better than the market, which is millions of individuals all acting in their own interests.

martin stve said...

Carbon credits, good option if you are looking for market investments.