CDM-ania

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I wrote previously about the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol. In that post, I pointed out an underlying irony of the CDM. At the behest of European AGW supporters who would never, ever think of allowing the building of a hydroelectric dam in their own country, European money is being sent to China where it is used to build … hydroelectric dams.

Of course, it being part of the UN, there’s always more to the CDM story. In this case the “more” is provided by Wikileaks, in particular a diplomatic cable that discussed the CDM in India. The fraud revealed in the cable was so egregious, in fact, that even the AGW supporting Scientific American said:

… most of the carbon-offset projects in India fail to meet the CDM requirements set by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

So most of the projects that were funded, shouldn’t have been funded. OK, it’s a private-sector scam within a UN scam. Insert your preferred expression of surprise here, along with the required quote from Casablanca.

So far, no big shocks, we find that a UN project is corrupt root and branch, be still my beating heart. But it raised a different question in my mind. Which CDM requirements couldn’t the Indian projects meet? I mean, these are Indian businessmen, I’d have said there was no requirement that they couldn’t figure out how to meet (or at a minimum pretend to meet) … so what was the regulation that was laying them low? The leaked cable contains the Kafkaesque answer.

The hurdle that the Indian projects couldn’t get over is something I hadn’t heard of called the “additionality criteria”. This says the project has to be something that is additional, something that wouldn’t otherwise happen without the CDM assistance. The Kyoto Protocol says that projects that would occur without CDM assistance are not “additional”, and so they should not be certified as emission reductions. Or as the leaked cable puts it in delightful bureaucratese:

(Note:  The  project has to prove that it does not use commonly-available  technology and that it is unviable without carbon credit revenue.  End Note.)

Now that the note has ended, stop and consider that for a moment … the project has to use unusual, cutting edge, novel technology, and it has to be a project that would fail without the CDM.

If I set out to make some guidelines for assistance to emission reduction technologies, those seem like the polar opposite of the guidelines I would make.

First, why not allow the use of proven, reliable, available emission reduction technologies along with unusual, cutting edge technologies with no track record? Instead of reducing emissions, aren’t you reducing your chances of success way, way down by only allowing what may not work?

Second, why fund projects that are “unviable”, as the jargon would have it, if you don’t assist them? As a businessman, the idea of specifically selecting a project for funding on the basis that it absolutely won’t work without free money is … well … it would be hilarious if it weren’t so tragic. The regulation requires that you pick incipient losers, ideas guaranteed to go belly-up unless you shower them with largesse … which seems to this boy like a very poor way to pick winners.

Given those requirements, I can now understand why the majority of the Indian projects “fail to meet the CDM requirements set by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.”

It’s because the CDM requirements are set up so that only impending failures can have a hope of success.

Did I mention Kafka? Perhaps I was thinking of Catch-22 …

In any case, this whole idea of offsetting your carbon sins by paying carbon indulgences seems like a killer idea, it puts the Nigerian 419 scams to shame. My plan is to bring this same brilliant concept to the masses by extending the whole theory of carbon offsets and “carbon neutrality” to encompass sexual fidelity.

Here’s the scheme in all of its beauty: if you want to cheat on your wife or husband, you pay me a fee. I split the fee with one of my employees (actually independent contractors, if anyone is looking for work) who promises not to cheat on their wife or husband for the same amount of time that you have paid for. That way, for a small fee (payable by cash, cheque, or credit card) you can rest assured that your extra-marital actions are “fidelity neutral”.

Makes as much sense as the CDM process, and it would likely make more money. Hey, maybe I could even get some free CDM bucks … oh, wait, I’d have to overcome the “additionality criteria” …

w.

PS – Required Conflict of Interest Statement: at various times in my life, my grandmother, my father, and my mother all worked for the United Nations …

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52 Responses to CDM-ania

  1. ChE says:

    Willis, you just described Solyndra. Let’s subsidize the losers so that they can flame out more spectacularly.

    And now, Chu is flushing money down the toilet like a drug dealer with a SWAT team outside.

  2. Mike Bromley the Canucklehead says:

    “PS – Required Conflict of Interest Statement: at various times in my life, my grandmother, my father, and my mother all worked for the United Nations …”

    Well, aren’t YOU a conflicted so-and-so. Imagine, biting the hand(s) that feed you so many times! Oh the additionality of it all!

  3. Annie says:

    Does one laugh or cry? The whole thing stretches one’s credulity to the utter limit. It gets crazier and crazier. Where does one start trying to fight all the idiocy?

    Thank you Willis for an informative, if despair-producing, piece.

  4. Annie says:

    PS I loved the cartoon!

  5. bikermailman says:

    Senator DeMint came up with a term recently: Venture Socialism. All of the current goings on fit perfectly the textbook definition of (no, not implementing Godwin’s Law here) fascism. The merging of big business and government, with government calling the shots, and picking winners and losers. I truly weep for my nation, and my world.

  6. Gary Swift says:

    It isn’t a catch 22; it is agenda 21.

    http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/

    You may complain about how and why the UN spends money, but does it really matter? As long as we are throwing money away by giving it to them in the first place, does it matter whether they burn it in dumpsters, or give it to corrupt politicians?

  7. David says:

    Not to dispute the general point of this post, but what are the grounds for asserting that European AGW supporters would never think of allowing hydroelectric power stations in their own countries? Most European countries already have them, notably Norway which gets most of its electricity from hydro. I don’t think many have been built recently, but that is probably because most suitable sites have already been used. If more were proposed, I dare say there would be objections, but mainly from local people who wouldn’t want villages flooded, etc. In the case of windfarms, which cause comparable or worse environmental damage, most of the objections come from local people: the AGW ‘greenies’ are generally all in favour, provided they don’t have to live near them.

  8. Doug in Seattle says:

    @Andrew

    CheatNeutral is great. The natural outcome of an offset culture.

  9. PhilJourdan says:

    I am surprised the cartoonist Madden did not use a likeness of Al Gore for this cartoon. It is the epitomy of his carbon credits.

  10. John says:

    Nothing new here. Catholic church was doing this centuries ago with sin off sets. Donations to the church would get your time in pergatory reduced. Now the AGW church is offering the same thing. For the same reasons. And with the same results. Those who don’t know history are doomed etc etc.

  11. James Sexton says:

    Individual success, be it a project, human, company, or country is antithetical to the UN. It must not only be discouraged, it must be stamped out if organizations such as the UN are to have a future. They define down to the least common denominator, as opposed to attempting to raise up to the highest maximum value.

  12. John Peter says:

    “The hurdle that the Indian projects couldn’t get over is something I hadn’t heard of called the “additionality criteria”. This says the project has to be something that is additional, something that wouldn’t otherwise happen without the CDM assistance.”
    “Additionality” is a well known concept when it comes to doling out tax payers money. I worked in a Government Quango for a while and we could only provide funding if there was a case of “additionality” i.e. the investment or job creation or whatever would not have happened without government funding. In the case of job creation the job creator would not have made the investment or would have gone to a competing country with the investment. Typically the funding would have to be returne (or part returned) if the job creation did not take place or at a reduced level or the plant closed before a set time.

  13. Chuckles says:

    David @ 10:22,

    I don’t think that telling Norwegians or even suggesting that they are part of Europe, or a ‘European country’, is a winning strategy, or a wise idea. Not a good idea at all.

  14. DirkH says:

    David says:
    September 30, 2011 at 10:22 am
    “Not to dispute the general point of this post, but what are the grounds for asserting that European AGW supporters would never think of allowing hydroelectric power stations in their own countries?”

    German Greens are against any infrastructure project that has not been initiated by themselves (I daresay; to my knowledge, there is no exception to this rule). Of course in the case of new large hydro dams they would bemoan
    a) the loss of biodiversity and habitats for amphibians
    b) the Methane emissions that emanate from such a large body of standing water, with tree stumps fouling on its ground; a truely dangerous thing with manyfold capacity for runaway thermal meltdown compared to CO2.

    See? It’s easy being in the anti crowd; you can always unite with the local NIMBY folks and show the journos some police violence during the inevitable protests; giving you political leverage.

    It’s a whole different story once you’re in power; see for instance Joschka Fischer’s defense of the NATO attacks against Serbia, when he, a Green and pacifist / Anti American protester was the Minister for Foreign Affairs in Germany.

  15. More Soylent Green! says:

    bikermailman says:
    September 30, 2011 at 10:14 am
    Senator DeMint came up with a term recently: Venture Socialism. All of the current goings on fit perfectly the textbook definition of (no, not implementing Godwin’s Law here) fascism. The merging of big business and government, with government calling the shots, and picking winners and losers. I truly weep for my nation, and my world.

    It’s always refreshing when somebody gets that right! I’m tired of the ignorant, educated people in this country claiming that capitalism is fascist. I almost want to cry when they claim people who want smaller government are fascists.

  16. Rob Potter says:

    Hi Willis,

    I am very happy not to cheat on my wife – can I sign up as one of your contractors?

    Or do I have to say that I WOULD cheat unless I get the money – i am confused….

    Maybe I can not cheat using novel methods, such as not going to strip clubs or massage parlours?

    Hmmm, a whole new set of opportunites…

  17. Eyal Porat says:

    Actually, Willis, the whole scheme of these CO2 offsets look as if they are ventured by Milo Minderbinder.
    Joseph Heller can be proud!

  18. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Willis, if you get red, angry and heart & stroke ready in my place, I will buy some Health Offset Credits from you :-) I will then be In Hoc to you :-)

  19. Wayne Liston says:

    David says:
    September 30, 2011 at 10:22 am
    Not to dispute the general point of this post, but what are the grounds for asserting that European AGW supporters would never think of allowing hydroelectric power stations in their own countries?

    The Danes (who cook with the worlds most expensive electricity), of course, have to rely on imported Norwegian hydro power when their massive wind installations go inconveniently dark. http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf99.html

    California is, however, too pure to use “unsustainable”, “big hydro” even when its former suppliers are located beyond it’s borders in Washington. http://polizeros.com/2011/04/27/hydropower-not-considered-renewable-energy-in-california/

    By dealing rationally with bad science, devious politics and all the other fraud, we lose track of the underlying movement to gain control by means of guilt and fear.

  20. DirkH says:

    Andrew Ward says:
    September 30, 2011 at 10:01 am
    “Too late: http://www.cheatneutral.com/

    The first funny warmists I’ve seen. (Watch the video on the site; at about 09:00 they start talking earnestly about CO2 reduction)

  21. sean2829 says:

    The “Catch 22″ of climate mitigation. If its makes economic sense it can’t be funded, if it makes no economic sense, it can’t be successful. No wonder the organized crime love the CDM.

  22. David says:

    “Chuckles says:
    I don’t think that telling Norwegians or even suggesting that they are part of Europe, or a ‘European country’, is a winning strategy, or a wise idea. Not a good idea at all.”

    Huh? You must know something I don’t. Entirely possible, of course, but the last time I checked a map, Norway was still part of Europe. Yup, just checked again – still there.

    Of course, as every schoolboy knows, Norway is not a member of the European Union, but it is a member of many other European organisations, like the Council of Europe and the European Economic Area. So far as I know, no-one in Norway has any problem with that, but correct me if I’m wrong.

  23. Re Gary Swift: Catch-22 vs. Agenda-21 .
    Spot on! A very perceptive linkage. Both make just as much sense, too.

    does it matter whether they burn it in dumpsters, or give it to corrupt politicians?

    Yes, it does matter! Burn it, and everyone might profit slightly by reduced inflation from a reduction in the money supply. Give it to a corrupt politician and a select few in the right (i.e. wrong) place have a huge profit motive to continue the charade.

  24. Gail Combs says:

    More Soylent Green! says: @ September 30, 2011 at 11:12 am

    “It’s always refreshing when somebody gets that right! I’m tired of the ignorant, educated people in this country claiming that capitalism is fascist. I almost want to cry when they claim people who want smaller government are fascists.”
    _____________________________________________________________________

    AMEN to that.

    I spend a heck of a lot of time explaining to people that the Gov/Corporate collusion marked by the Gov/Corp revolving door is NOT Capitalism. Corporate written regulations via the K street lobbyists plus Fractional Reserve Banking has been the death of true capitalism.

    Even the rag, USA today, has finally gotten a clue: Small businesses losing out to red tape

    You will notice it is the big guys like AL Gore with his New Forests Company, who will be making the money while the peasants are kicked out of their homes and left to starve as cropland in Africa is planted in trees noted to be not only invasive but inedible to livestock and most everything else…… http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/25/they-had-to-burn-the-village-to-save-it-from-global-warming/#comment-751952

    So much for Big Al being an “environmentalist” he is worse than a snake oil salesman and should be in jail for the murder of the boy Friday Mukamperezida under the “authority to control” doctrine.

    “….Over the past two decades, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has articulated a standard of liability for individual officers that is based not on personal participation but rather upon a piercing of the corporate veil. In so doing, the Federal Circuit has, inadvertently it would seem, radically altered the nature of individual officer liability, expanding the scope of such liability and exposing corporate officers to a form of strict liability….” http://alsb.roundtablelive.org/Resources/Documents/NP%202001%20Oswald.pdf

    OK, so that was about patents but it has also extended to liability for damage to the environment in the 1980′s. Would this not be a wonderful test case… Think of all the lovely press coverage.

  25. Bill Parsons says:

    Ridiculous. Pretty soon just anybody could not cheat on his wife. And if it doesn’t reduce the overall level of promiscuity in the world, their cheating claim is patently false. Who’s to say the people not cheating on behalf of the cheaters would have cheated in the first place? Hm? Gigolos, on the other hand, could not cheat ethically. And be paid for it. In point of fact, they are the only ones morally and ethically endowed by their calling with the ability of not cheating. But wouldn’t they just take the money and cheat out of spite for the laws. On cheating?

    I had a serious post in mind, but forgot what it was.

  26. Gail Combs says:

    Stephen Rasey says: @
    September 30, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    “Re Gary Swift: Catch-22 vs. Agenda-21 .
    Spot on! A very perceptive linkage. Both make just as much sense, too.

    does it matter whether they burn it in dumpsters, or give it to corrupt politicians?

    Yes, it does matter! Burn it,…</b.
    ________________________________________________________________
    You have got that right!

    Actually burn 50% of the US money supply and bring us back to near the 2008 level. But be sure to burn all the bailout money esp the AIG bailout money that makes mortgage foreclosure so attractive to banks. Of course you then cancel the same amount in federal debt, a real win win situation for America Main Street.

  27. dcardno says:

    David:
    “…what are the grounds for asserting that European AGW supporters would never think of allowing hydroelectric power stations in their own countries?”

    I work in developing and siting storage hydropower (granted, not in Europe), and the reactions noted up-thread are accurate. Every possible site is presented as the last of some particularly valuable habitat or ecosystem, or the only location with valued attribute, and so on. In general, greens are in favour of all technologies (at least in the energy sector) until they show distant signs of being economic (or heaven forfend, actually being economic – although that hasn’t yet happened with any of the green energy technologies), at which point they become non-green and a menace to life on Earth.

    Cheers,

    Dean

  28. Steve Oregon says:

    “(Note: The project has to prove that it does not use commonly-available technology and that it is unviable without carbon credit revenue. End Note.)
    Now that the note has ended, stop and consider that for a moment … the project has to use unusual, cutting edge, novel technology, and it has to be a project that would fail without the CDM.”

    Yep, there it is. The solyndra secret to wealthy friends.

  29. Septic Matthew says:

    Willis wrote: this whole idea of offsetting your carbon sins by paying carbon indulgences seems like a killer idea,

    A minor pet peeve: unlike Purgatory, the existence of CO2 is supported by lots of scientific evidence; and the CO2 offsets, unlike the indulgences, actually have been shown to work. So, if CO2 were scientifically shown to be a problem, CO2 offsets would be a scientifically supported part of a solution.

    That said, some of the offset schemes are scams, but not all. If you are so motivated, you can offset your CO2 use by financing the reforestation of Ecuador and other places.

  30. maz2 says:

    From above:
    “European money is being sent to China where it is used to build … hydroelectric dams.”

    From China:

    “China Says Electricity Shortages to Continue into Winter”

    The National Energy Administration says hydroelectricity, which accounts for 16 of total power generation in China, has dropped due to this year’s drought

    (Beijing) – Acute power shortages will continue in parts of China in the upcoming winter and spring seasons, particularly in the southern and central regions where most of the country’s hydropower power stations are located, an energy official told a press conference on September 29.”

    http://english.caixin.cn/2011-09-30/100311151.html

    *H/T Mao Stlong, aka Maurice Strong (last seen in Red China.)

    “Maurice Strong’s unprecedented rise to power + Earth Charter and the Earth Council Alliance”

    http://romanticpoet.wordpress.com/2010/05/13/maurice-strongs-unprecedented-rise-to-power-earth-charter-and-the-earth-council-alliance/

  31. Elliot says:

    Note: this is intended in jest

    Willis aren’t you too old to have a grandmother working from the UN? The UN was only formed after WWII. I may have misinterpreted your earlier posts which discussed at length your extensive sea going experience. I’ve always imagined you as a sort of 80 year old one legged pirate who somewhere along the way learned how to do a lot of statistics.

  32. John Trigge says:

    I’m pretty sure I will never be a millionaire without some ‘additionality’.

    Do I qualify and, if so, which forms do I fill out?

  33. 3x2 says:

    As a businessman, the idea of specifically selecting a project for funding on the basis that it absolutely won’t work without free money is … well … it would be hilarious if it weren’t so tragic.

    Not if it isn’t your money. Not if there is no personal risk involved. Were we all to be honest, the true test of any proposal would be whether or not you would directly invest your own future into the project.

    We have reached a point where there is so much re-distribution of wealth going on (present, future and imaginary wealth) that it becomes a shell game. The (temporary) winners are those who can capture some of the wealth re-distribution fantasy before it collapses. It should have been the key lesson learned from the collapse of the USSR.

    At a more local level, someone dumped a pamphlet through my door today, a “green” party “summary” of local politics. Every article involved OPM and how best to spend it. One of interest was about the local authority fitting out another thousand houses with solar panels. And I quote … “with no additional cost to the (local) taxpayer” … “funding for the scheme will be paid through the new Feed In Tariff”. In other words, funded via a shell game where nobody cares about project viability or who is paying. Just grab what you can while the going is good.

    CDM is the same game played internationally with a lot more zero’s and a lot more shells. Free, no risk capital to fund your every fantasy. Just borrow more when the last lot runs out. Welcome to the “sovereign debt crisis”. This isn’t going to end well.

  34. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Elliot says:
    September 30, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Note: this is intended in jest

    Willis aren’t you too old to have a grandmother working from the UN? The UN was only formed after WWII. I may have misinterpreted your earlier posts which discussed at length your extensive sea going experience. I’ve always imagined you as a sort of 80 year old one legged pirate who somewhere along the way learned how to do a lot of statistics.

    Actually, I’m a 64 year old two-legged pirate who learned to do statistics. My grandmother was an American who went to work in Egypt in 1943 (at the age of 55) for what would later become a part of the UN under the name of UNRRA, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. Wikipedia, fwiw, says UNRRA was established in 1943, and became part of the UN in 1945. She worked for UNRRA, first in Egypt and later in Germany after the end of the war, until 1947.

    w.

  35. WillR says:

    I too love the cartoon….

    It depicts a “bare root tree” — “in leaf” being trans-planted. A tree that size generally dies when transplanted “in leaf”. A tree in leaf is usually planted with a burlaped root ball of earth still around the roots — even then it may not survive if the ball is not of sufficient size and a “reasonable” amount of water is not provided.

    Now I’m curious if the fellow who drew the cartoon realized that. It makes for a better chuckle if he did.

    Something to think about.

    (And I know Willis knows this…)

  36. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Septic Matthew says:
    September 30, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Willis wrote:

    this whole idea of offsetting your carbon sins by paying carbon indulgences seems like a killer idea,

    A minor pet peeve: unlike Purgatory, the existence of CO2 is supported by lots of scientific evidence; and the CO2 offsets, unlike the indulgences, actually have been shown to work. So, if CO2 were scientifically shown to be a problem, CO2 offsets would be a scientifically supported part of a solution.

    That said, some of the offset schemes are scams, but not all. If you are so motivated, you can offset your CO2 use by financing the reforestation of Ecuador and other places.

    My main objection to the offset idea is that it is only available to the wealthy. Regardless of whether it works or not, only the wealthy can buy absolution from their carbonic excesses. This leads to things like Al Gore schlepping his excess avoirdupois around the globe by private jet, and simply paying carbon indulgences for the privilege of claiming carbon neutrality.

    The reason this is a big issue is that those are the people who are looking to deny the poor the same chance we had to become wealthy. They are doing this by artificially restricting the availability and artificially increasing the cost of energy globally. In rich countries, increased energy costs means that people drink less Starbucks coffee and combine errands in their cars.

    In poor countries, increased energy costs means that kids die. See my discussion of how that works in one of the world’s poorer countries, the Solomon Islands. Energy is food, energy is medicine, energy is development.

    People will look back aghast at this attempt to deny affordable energy to those on the planet who need it the most, and history will not judge the perpetrators lightly …

    w.

  37. Poto says:

    It’s Nigerian 419 scams, not 409. Might want to correct that.

    [Fixed, thanks.]

  38. Septic Matthew says:

    Willis wrote: My main objection to the offset idea is that it is only available to the wealthy.

    Initially, everything is only available to the wealthy, including digital cameras and vaccines.

    The rest of your post I am sympathetic with. Some of the CO2 offsets are really bad ideas, but I like it as a way of funding reforestation. In the example case of Ecuador, the money from the rich goes to pay the relatively poor planters, who are ameliorating damage done to their environment in past decades.

    To repeat my main point, I objected to the analogy with pre-reformation Indulgences.

  39. DirkH says:

    Septic Matthew says:
    September 30, 2011 at 2:07 pm
    “That said, some of the offset schemes are scams, but not all. If you are so motivated, you can offset your CO2 use by financing the reforestation of Ecuador ”

    Last I checked an Atlas, Ecuador consisted of jungle, jungle and jungle (except for where it goes above the tree line…) did that change?

  40. Legatus says:

    These aren’t losers guerenteed to fail, these are winners guaranteed to win.
    See, first you “invent” a new, “cutting edge” technology, like, say, snake oil based feul, it’s green power for your car. Of course, you don’t bother actually pressing oil from snakes, that would be too much work, just cobble up something cheap. But make sure it sounds new and novel and very very green. Now shop it around for all that lovely free money.

    These CDM requirments are practically designed from the get go to give free money to scam artists.

  41. Legatus says:

    So it has to be unusual, cutting edge, will fail without free money? Thats EASY.
    I have just invented the new, snake oil based gasoline, it’s green power for your car. Of course, I have not bothered to actually press oil from snakes, I just cobbled something cheap together. And of course it will not work without your free money, no one in their right mind would buy this stuff.

    Was this invented by a scam artist to benefit other scam artists?

  42. Philip Bradley says:

    Australian Greens have fought tooth and nail against hydroelectric projects here in Australia for the last 30 years. All the while blathering on about ‘clean’ renewable energy.

  43. DirkH says:

    More CDM-mania: You heard about Masdar the futuristic CO2 neutral “Eco City” in Abu Dhabi.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masdar_City

    By chance I stumbled across the German wikipedia page for it, and it says
    “Da die Stadt über den Clean Development Mechanism finanziert werden soll[5], bedeutet dies,[...]
    Zur Berechnung der Reduktion wird eine Stadt angenommen, wie sie in dieser Region „normalerweise“ gebaut würde.
    [...]
    Da die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate das Land mit den weltweit zweithöchsten Pro-Kopf-Emissionen sind (28,2 Tonnen CO2 pro Person im Jahr 2007),[...]”
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masdar

    Translation: The city will be financed via the CDM mechanism. To compute the reduction it is compared to a city like it would be normally built in this region. The UAE is the country with the world’s second highest per capita CO2 emissions, 28.2 tons of CO2 per capita in 2007.

    In other words: Masdar is designed to milk the CDM mechanism as hard as it can. This is really the absolute money machine.

    Why don’t you Americans build another Las Vegas this way? Hey, can someone tip off Jerry Brown; how about casinos in the Death valley?

  44. 1DandyTroll says:

    Hah that image says everything about how it works in EU as well. There’s no planting trees unless you recently just cut down a forest, then you can replant the forest. But for open farmland or pastures, no no, no planting trees, unless it happens to be for a good cause, like replenishing the oak population, energy forest, other types of trees for fuel to limit oil and coal use, and even hemp forests is ok, with license, even though hemp is otherwise mostly considered a weed, doh, and so needs to be removed promptly.

    However without subsidies nothing is economically sound in EU. So, essentially, you can only make a good full time living on planting and harvesting trees if it is for a good climate cause.

  45. DirkH says:

    1DandyTroll says:
    October 1, 2011 at 9:28 am
    “Hah that image says everything about how it works in EU as well.”

    Honk if you love the wisdoms of the commission:

    GREEN PAPER
    On Forest Protection and Information in the EU:
    Preparing forests for climate change
    Brussels, 1.3.2010
    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2010:0066:FIN:EN:PDF

  46. oeman50 says:

    Ah, yes. I ran across the additionality criteria several years ago when I was first trying to determine if a project I was championing would qualify under the CDM. What a head scratcher. I found there were several types of additionality, two of which are mentioned in in reference to the Indian projects, technological and financial. And the paperwork and proof you have to supply to get this verified, mindboggling! The premiss is the normal ways of doing business that lower the amount of CO2 will happen anyway without the CDM funding. This is not necessarily true, I can think of a number of marginal cases that would fall in between the additionality cirteria and the return on investment standards of many companies that would also save CO2. The Kyoto Protocols have shot themselves in the foot.

    BTW, I don’t really agree this stuff has to be done, but I am just figuring out the rules in the real world.

  47. Legatus says:

    I am going to go out and save the planet.

    I am going to go out and cut down a tree.

  48. Pascvaks says:

    Some people think that it matters more who the PM or Prez is than the lowly local MC/MP. The truth is just the opposite, it’s one of those confounding facts of life and laws of human nature. If you want to stop waste and stupidity about saving the planet, or giving everyone “free” anything for life, you really do have to have a hard nosed SOB or DOB who knows how to say “NO!” Look at the Great American Flying Circus for El Presidente del Norte. Yes, it matters about character, integrity, intelligence, and political persuasion in the top job, but it matters more who Americans elect to their worthless Congress, or who Brits -et al- send to Parliament, the National Assembly, the Diet, Bundestag und Bundesrat, Staten-Generaal, Federalnoye Sobraniye, Cortes Generales, Riksdag, Majlis al-Sha’ab, or Assemblée fédérale.

    The root of all evil is political stupidity on the part of voters when electing their local representative and state senators. Good Reps don’t let their people get shafted by anyone. Strange how we must continuously reinvent this wheel.

  49. Manfred says:

    Now, the following tops everything:

    “…The controversy surrounds projects that remove HFC 23, one of the most potent greenhouse gases in existence, from the atmosphere. These projects make up less than 1 per cent of scheme projects but are responsible for more half the carbon credits awarded by the UN so far, mostly to chemical plants in India and China that emit HFC 23 as a byproduct.

    There is “overwhelming evidence that manufacturers are gaming the system and undermining carbon markets by producing more potent greenhouse gases just so they can get paid to destroy them,” climate researcher Eva Filzmoser wrote in a recent report placed before a UN committee…”

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/Carbon-credit-scam-slur-on-Indian-firms/Article1-599382.aspx

  50. PhilJourdan says:

    Septic Matthew says:
    September 30, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    A minor pet peeve: unlike Purgatory, the existence of CO2 is supported by lots of scientific evidence; and the CO2 offsets, unlike the indulgences, actually have been shown to work. So, if CO2 were scientifically shown to be a problem, CO2 offsets would be a scientifically supported part of a solution.

    A minor correction. CO2 offsets have not been shown to cause harm – they have yet to be shown to do any good. And in truth, since the existence of a supernatural being is still an unproven (as is the non-existance), the same can be said for the indulgences. So indeed, indulgences are an excellent term for offsets. It is the 21st century equivalent of a mid-evel practice.

  51. Brian H says:

    Carbon offsets, allowed to find their natural level, would have negative value.

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