The Real Green

It’s not “being green,” as in a recycling demon, or belonging to the Green party, or even being Kermit. It is not the color of the global warming promoters who bark about conclusive proof but never provide it (because it does not exist), even though they might profess to bleed chlorophyl instead of blood.

It’s just a new way to tax. See the dead presidents? That’s what being green really means.

Did you know developers in Los Angeles can (must) pay cash to buy credits for air space over the flat low-rise structure that is the LA Convention Center, in order to build high rise condos downtown, because laws enacted (just for this purpose) effectively limit high-rise development?

As this Financial Times article points out, the whole idea of a carbon trading market is just as bonkers- it’s really a “carbon neutrality” sham. Or, scam, if you prefer (I do).

I got your carbon credits right here. Heheheh.

Just like the rush to fund “global warming” officers in government and academia (“just watch our grants climb! kaaaa-ching”), and planning state and local budgets around an expected rising sea level (puh-lease) is the real scam.

And apparently this deceit doesn’t bother the conscience of those people who believe their actions are promoting a good cause. Well, if there is a little teensy bit of a scam, at least nobody got hurt.

After all, pollution is wrong, and we have been powerless to stop it to our satisfaction.

Last point taken. But manufacturing a charade is no way to bestow integrity on your movement, doc.

A little background. Twenty years ago I worked in industry, in a foundry. One of my responsibilities was tracking the permits issued under the auspices of the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Once the equipment was identified, every year the permit was renewed and paid for. And every year-did you guess?- the fees doubled.

This didn’t tackle pollution. One-third of this company’s permits were for dormant equipment. Because if you ever added a new piece of equipment, you needed to have reserve to trade. Because you were unlikely to get a new permit- even though it would probably be more modern (and efficient) equipment.

This perceived “threat of global warming” inspiring “carbon credits” is just a way to levy taxes, pal, to collect money. Just like the SCAQMD didn’t actually do anything, beyond collecting “fees” for the “right” to pollute. Well, perhaps monitoring air quality- but they have instruments to do that.

This new green path is getting postioned to become the biggest, fattest, bloated-est bureaucracy ever.

The SCAQMD never limited emissions; you simply paid more. Oh, and it became a repository for placement of still-warm bodies for political patronage. Almost 75% of this agency’s budget is for “salaries/benefits. ” I always wondered what the average term of employment is for people there. I’d bet it’s off the charts.

Can you see where “carbon neutrality” is heading? Do you want to borrow my glasses?

In fact, that company I worked for seventeen years eventually moved its operations overseas because the cost of manufacturing in the US, and especially California, became prohibitively expensive.

So three thousand jobs were lost to an impoverished neighborhood that sorely needed it.

Ten years ago the equipment was dissembled and sold off, production off-shored, the executive and adminstration moved out of LA county. About five years ago the buildings were converted to rubble, the land was dug up for eventual redevelopment (A Lowes distribution center, which probably won’t employ that many people because it will mostly be automated).

It sits today as just a big 27 acre hole in the ground.

So if I am skeptical about “global warming,” this old ecologist, this old lefty, wants you to know it is not without some strong evidence and first-hand experience that comprehensively refutes the motives of the “movement” behind it.

Besides, the folks behind it just don’t pass the old sniff test.

Postscript: several years ago, the SCAQMD built a fabulous new palace on a hill in the East San Gabriel Valley. I’m sure it was constructed with all environmentally friendly materials. In fact, I’ve always wondered who oversaw it’s construction?

BTW, these days, what does the SCAQMD do? There is much less pollution today from stationary sources than twenty years ago, because there is much less manufacturing (Gee, I guess the SCAQMD really were effective once upon a time).

The same old major local sources of pollution here in El Lay- the oil refineries- are still there, and the agency has never even attempted to intrude into this domain to enforce any policy. The oil companies (and by extension, you and me) just pay more for the privilege.

Automobile pollution is the major culprit of dirty south coast basin air, and that source is covered by (yet) another agency.

Are people burning leaves again in the backyard? Hardly. Don’t tell me the SCAQMD is now a superfluous government bureacracy? If not, then what do they actually do?

5 Responses to The Real Green

  1. Johnny Boy says:

    The SCAQMD gives away FABULOUS trash and trinkets to encourage people to live more green lifestyles.

    All the crap they give away is made in China.

    The next time somebody asks me what I’ve done for the environment, I’m going to tell them that I make my own electricity. Paper or plastic indeed.

    Oh, and now that I make my own electricity, I want to sell my carbon credits. Since’s it’s nothing but a pack of cards because China is going to surpass the US in CO2 emissions by 2009 and have a gazillion miles of new expressway in five to 10 years, I want my money now.

  2. Paco Bell says:

    I got your carbon credits right here.

  3. ArcoSt says:

    You have no clue what you’re talking about re: the aqmd.

    I run a gas station, and I can tell you:
    1. We don’t just pay money for the right to pollute. We’re also required to maintain working control equipment that stops emissions.

    2. We are inspected twice a year and they’re very strict. I’ve had pumps shut down because of a defective O-ring.

    3. Our permit fees don’t double every year. They usually go up around 3%.

    4. I know for a fact that they regulate the hell out of oil refineries. There was a huge legal fight a few years ago between the aqmd and one of the refineries. It was front page news for a long time. Do you ever read the news?

    As for their 75% of budget going to personnel, I can’t comment. But I’d guess that it’s in line with other government agencies. They probably don’t have much of a marketing budget, R&D budget, inventory, or anything that business must for.

  4. Johnny Boy says:

    ArcoSt runs a gas station supplied by BP (British Petroleum), which *just coincidentally* happens to be one of the two manufacturers of solar photovoltaic panels appropriate for domestic use.

    In 2000, when we built an addition (modest) to our home, we had the south-facing roof designed for solar panels and planned to install them then. Unfortunately, the contractor was a dope and the project went on four or five times longer than it should have. We had priced out solar panels then, and with the contractor-caused mission creep, we had to remove them from the addition.

    Six years later, we approached the project again. The price of the panels was THE SAME. And they were scarce because they were short of silicon. (Sand? Was I born in the 20th century or something?) We did it anyway and now get “minus” signs next to the electricity portion of our utility bill.

    This is smelling a little too much like the urban rumor of General Motors-owned National City Lines buying the Red Car system and replacing them with diesel buses. (As it turns out, the urban streetcars did not coexist well with the new post-war car culture, so more nimble vehicles were appropriate for the environment.) HOWEVER, doesn’t it sound like a good object lesson for BP?

    My sole regret in this case is that we’re not getting our credits from an investor-owned utility but from a city-owned system.

  5. Paco Bell says:

    The AQMD is a uselss, extra and unnecsessary layer of government that exists soloey to raise capital for state government.

    I’m sure they manage to do something such as inspect a station or two (or three), Mr ArcoSt. As a small business owner you’re fucked if you do, fucked if you don’t kow tow to the man.

    But did you ever ask yourself, “what fucking good do these people do, having me replace perfectly good o-rings (are you sure it was defective?) just so some crap “AQMD” inspector can go home at night, and say to hiomself ‘I really earned my salary today honey. Bring me another beer.'”

    The refineries are regulated by a different agency, so IF the AQMD is in there (doubtful), it’s an extra layer of government sicked on the oil companies (well, I won’t be shedding any tears over this).

    Don’t get me wrong, we need the product, but keep in mind gasoline taxes are diverted to other projects (salaries, pensions for government retirees) and are not used as intended- road maintenace, emmission monitoring and control- you know, things relevant to the use of the fuel.

    I should also point out that gasoline tax, being applied as a percentage, risees sharply when the price of fuel does, resluting in a government windfall so the politicians in Sacramento can now vote themselves a nice fat pay raise, some extra bennies for their retirement, and add another couple hundred thousand drones for patronage and as a voting bloc.

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