Carbon Credit Watch

For 30 years we have monitored the threat of global warming. Over that time, we have never once thought it justified, as many others have, to raise the alert to a “code red” – a threat to our planet that requires extreme and immediate measures. We still don’t think it should be.

Why? Because of our experience with unaccountable global institutions, we didn’t trust the UN Kyoto process and the donor agencies that put the world on red alert; we saw how global concern would undermine local concerns about substantive issues like deforestation, air, and water pollution.

Thanks to the groundbreaking book The Deniers, published by our sister organization Energy Probe, we learned that the science is not settled on man-made global warming, we realized the models are not reliable and that bigger climatic forces may be at play.

Once the science is in, it is possible that CO2 will be rehabilitated to the traditional view of it – as nature’s fertilizer, a gas that benefits the biosphere rather than threatens it.

To our mind, the theoretical threat of global warming has always paled next to the real and present dangers posed by long-known pollutants and threats from habitat loss and degradation.

Until the science is settled on the global warming threat, we argue, reduce the known contaminants, such as NOX, SOX, and mercury, through energy conservation and efficiency improvements and polluter pay mechanisms.

Moreover, we believe the manic focus on CO2 has led to unfortunate and disturbing results. It used to be the dam builders, the nuclear power advocates and the polluters who shut down debate over their pet projects on the grounds that they knew best and detractors didn’t understand the science and economics of their industries.

Now it is mainstream environmental NGOs in rich countries who are shutting down debate over the threat of global warming, by vilifying and assigning ulterior motives to experts and the public who dare to question the scope of the threat.

It is a sad day when environmentalists impede scientific inquiry and public debate.

But worse, in the pursuit of cutting CO2 emissions, a global warming industry of polluters, governments, and international funding agencies has, by decree, turned carbon into a commodity and created “markets” on which to trade the right to produce it in the form of “carbon credits.”

The environment, and the well-being of those who depend on it, is now truly threatened. Coal burning industries in industrialized countries are buying the right to continue polluting by paying poorer countries to “reduce” global CO2 either by limiting their own development building or by offsetting industrialized country emissions by building hydro dams and planting mega forestry schemes.

Flooding from hydro dams has forced the resettlement of millions and stricken their lives with impoverishment, while mega forestry projects cause immeasureable harm to local ecosystems.

Everybody loses except the polluters, the aid bureaucracies, and governments who can falsely claim to be “green.”

On these pages, Probe International will bring you the details of these disasters-in-the-making and how to stop them. Let us know your views by contacting us about your own carbon credit stories. We will do our best to cover them for the benefit of the debate.

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