I rarely weigh in on issues of religion, politics, or the environment. However, our country along with several others, are really concerned of the financial impacts of the most popular cap and trade schemes to cap the total amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere. I share that concern. My concerns are based on several factors.
First and foremost, while we cannot doubt that CO2 building up in our atmosphere is a cause of heat trapping from the sun. There is also no doubt that other greenhouse gases such as sulfur dioxide (NOx) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) can contribute in ways that have very long term consequences. However, there still isn’t anyone who can honestly and scientifically say that these man-made impacts are the CAUSE of global warming. A contributing factor, yes, but the singular cause, no. There are two big problems with that theory. First, natural activities such as volcanic eruptions and large forest fires can, in single events, emit more greenhouse gases in one event than man does in a year. Secondly, while NASA has not made it public, global warming is occurring with our neighbors as well. Mars, especially, seems to be impacted as much as we have here on earth. While it would be easy and politically simple to say the sun is to blame, that does not seem to be supported by the sun’s activity of late. However, it does seem we are seeing some cooling globally that can be related to the lack of sun activity the last few years.
Secondly, any cap and trade schemes are hugely unfair to developing countries. Countries in Africa and South America would be at disadvantage and development would be delayed in those countries because their baselines would be established at very low levels and the developed countries would no doubt exploit the credits that could come from those countries.
CO2 credit auctions are already in place in the EU and the US. So, how’s that working out? Are my fears unfounded? Well it doesn’t seem so. This from WatchDog.org
New Jersey Watchdog’s battle over the “secret” records of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative’s cap-and-trade auctions will be waged in a Trenton courtroom. Investigative reporter Mark Lagerkvist filed suit against the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in Mercer County Superior Court for “wrongfully and knowingly” denying access. Under the state Open Public Records Act (OPRA), Lagerkvist is asking the court to order NJDEP to release documents showing who bought what at RGGI’s auctions of carbon dioxide emission allowances.
In its first eight auctions, RGGI sold $662 million in CO-2 allowances, including $72 million in New Jersey permits. Those costs are eventually passed along to consumers in higher electric rates. At the auctions, utilities competed with speculators and financial heavyweights like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lunch and JPMorgan Chase, as reported by New Jersey Watchdog last month in an investigative report – “The Secrets Ten States & Wall Street Don’t Want You to Know.” Authorities have refused to identify auction winners and how many permits each purchased.
New Jersey Watchdog initially sought the records from RGGI, but the New York-based regional non-profit cooperative contends it is not a public agency subject to OPRA. The next request went to NJDEP, the agency that supervises New Jersey’s participation in RGGI. NJDEP claims it does not have the requested records – despite regulations mandating the agency to approve auction results, issue permits to winning bidders and oversee the allowance tracking system.
Banks like JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs already have active carbon trading desks that deal in instruments connected to Europe’s cap-and-trade system and voluntary markets here. But business will explode if a cap-and-trade system becomes law. So it’s no surprise that the financial industry has taken an intense interest in the fine print of the Waxman-Markey bill. According to data compiled by the Center for Public Integrity, the financial services industry has 130 lobbyists working on climate issues, compared to almost none in 2003. They represent companies like Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and AIG (before it was shamed into temporarily halting its lobbying activities last fall).
“BP supports an economy-wide price for carbon based on fair and equitable application across all sectors and believes that market based solutions, like a cap and trade or linked-fee, are the best solutions to manage GHG emissions.” (Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, U.S. House Of Representatives, Hearing, 6/15/10).
At this time when the world’s economy is in such a fragile state, and you got players like Goldman Sach and BP suddenly becoming “Green” we have to be concerned. This is a politically loaded issue, but it should be only an environmental issue. Given all that has come to light in recent months about fudged data, over estimates of ice melts, and now all of a sudden, cap and trade auctions that are cloaked in secrecy, I think we all, environmentalists included, should pause and really consider the full financial impacts that would be created by these cap and trade schemes which seem on the surface to be logical, but on closer examination may be just another scheme by the PTB and banksters to capture and control the global wealth. Just a thought, but it is one we should look at very closely. If we don’t it might just be the proverbial last straw that kills the global economy permanently. Well at least for 99% of world’s people.