Probe International in the News

Old King Coal

(March 19, 2012) Listen to Probe International’s Patricia Adams on “Demon Coal” – an in-depth look at the fossil fuel that made the industrial revolution happen, it’s demonization in the 21st century, and why coal is still a fuel of the future.

“Demon Coal” is a two-part series, aired by Canada’s CBC Radio One  documentary show, Ideas.

To listen to parts one and two, see www.cbc.ca/ideas.

Ms. Adams is featured in Part 2 of this series.

CBC.ca / Ideas

From the CBC website: Coal is dirty, toxic, abundant and cheap. Mining it disfigures the earth. Using it for fuel or electricity generation is unsustainable. Burning it emits deadly pollutants and greenhouse gases and is the major cause of global warming. Right? In this new two-part series, environmentalists and energy scientists, in conversation with Max Allen, explain why much conventional wisdom about coal in the 21st century is just plain wrong.

Patricia Adams discussed carbon credit markets — the market-based mechanism created to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, for example, by replacing coal-fueled plants with renewable energies, such as hydropower projects. The problem with the carbon credit market, says Ms. Adams, is that it’s fake: it’s a faux market trading a commodity with no inherent value; neither seller or buyer is given an incentive to discipline or monitor the other, as they would trading a product with real value. This faux market, she says, has created many mechanisms for misrepresentation and, as such, fraudsters have invaded it, with the buyers and sellers exploiting their mutual interest in collusion and kickbacks. In the process, environmentally damaging dams have been financed, all in the name of saving the environment.

Max Allen, a producer for Ideas, as well as the co-founder and curator of the Textile Museum of Canada, sits on the board of Probe International’s parent organization, Energy Probe Research Foundation.


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