Last week's Frontline/World program on PBS had an interesting story on carbon credits (The Carbon Hunters). It opened with a local Brazilian measuring the circumference of a tree in the rain forest, and estimating the amount of carbon in it. He priced it at one dollar's worth, and said that the carbon in the tree belonged to General Motors. Though this sounded like another typical "corporate bashing" story, I ended up watching it, to see how much they "bashed" the "green" business (The Nature Conservancy, who declined to speak to Frontline) that sell the carbon credits to GM, and other companies. They did, but more importantly, they showed exactly what carbon credits do to indigenous people in Brazil. Basically, it's wiping them out, by not letting them plant in the forest, or to harvest trees for repairing their homes. The money they get from the program isn't enough to replace what they've given up. There is money to hire security (a real life "green police") to enforce the rules, and the local government is in on the racket, too.
There is local political opposition to this carbon scheme, though, which is where the story gets interesting, to me. What happens if the Brazilian government decides that carbon credit "rights" are no longer valid? Well, that probably won't happen right away. First, they're going to raise the price of the carbon, as high as the market will allow. This is what "green" investors are speculating on, and why they're pushing it politically. Even if the whole "carbon causes global warming" theory is correct, this is a scam! It's setting up a global financial market on one of the most common elements on earth, driving the price to an incredible and artificial high. The Frontline piece says that there is already 300 billion dollars invested in carbon credits. Call it the "CO2 bubble," and we had better burst it before it gets any bigger.
The Frontline segment excused the political "greens" for introducing "carbon trading" as "a way to get business on board," but I got a definite tone of criticism toward them, which is unusal for anything on PBS. Still, they relly didn't touch the larger part of the story, as in how the new "American Power Act" (that's the official name of the "Cap and Trade" bill) will not only codify this scam in our laws, but back it with our tax dollars. There's the rub. "Man-made global warming" is a political movement throughout the "developed" world, seeking to keep the "undeveloped" world...well, "undeveloped." It's goal may be the opposite of the previous generation of "imperialism," but that makes it even more pernicious. Corporations and governments are conspiring to deprive people of their freedom, and President Obama is on the wrong side, again.
It doesn't have to be this way. Don't vote for anyone who supports The American Power Act, and make your voice heard to legislators. This is an election year, and as campaign season starts, candidates will be listening. There are many grounds to oppose this bill on, but the top one is the "imperialism" charge, in my book. Is this the image of America we endorse? Saving the rainforest is a noble thing, but must we "force" it on the people who actually live there? The second biggest reason is the potential financial disaster it could cause. Do we need another 2-3 trillion dollar market (as carbon is estimated to become in a decade), based on a dubious premise? Even if one believes man made carbon emissions contribute to global warming, exactly how does preserving trees in the Brazilian rainforest "cut" America's carbon emissions? It doesn't. Carbon "credits" are a scam, being sold by the President, and everyone who supports him on this issue. Read or watch the Frontline piece, and decide for yourself.