Monday, November 02, 2009

Carbon Discredits

This is my second pub on Technorati:

The whole idea of cap and trade (or carbon credits or carbon offsets) is a dumb and moreover indirect way of tackling environmentalism. Futures speculating is fun for sports betting where - save for degenerates - quality of life or critical things like the environment aren't on the line, but it's a weird and indirect way of dealing with problems. Imagine monetizing something like speed limits into futures - absurd, right?

The answer is to deal with driving and speeding directly - pay to register and drive, pay for your license, pay to pollute (smog check), pay for your insurance, pay for your citations... etc. Direct seems to work. If you're a business that pollutes, why should it be any different? I'll tell ya why - with cap and trade/carbon credits, HUGE pools of money will be gambled that some think will dwarf the energy futures market. And therein lies the rub of this model - it's gambling. By creating a futures market out of pollution, the game makers have created a casino, and everyone knows that casinos make their billions off of the fish.

And the ones who will reap from Uncle Scam and Wall Street's newest casino are, once again, huge institutional pools of money. Matt Taibbi knows who they are, and guess what? They have an enormous edge. [This allusion's for Mitchy; ~~cue Jim Healy impression~~ I won't mention any names, but their initials are "GS", that's "GS." ~~cue Healy funny laugh sound effect~~]

Yeah, Yeah. Big surprise, I know.