Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Idling by…

Posted by David Keelan on Saturday, June 9, 2007

I don’t believe in global warming.  That is not to say I don’t believe we should do what we can to preserve our enviroment.  My next car will by a hybrid.  We are replacing our light bulbs, we recycle, we teach the kids about the importance of preserving the environment.  There is much more we can do of course.

When I tell people I don’t believe in global warming they instantly think I want to destroy the environment or let someone else destroy while standing by and doing nothing.  Nothing can be further from the truth.  One can be an enviromentalist while not believing in global warming.  It is true.  I am among those who think that we are too small and insignificant to effect that kind of change and I am not among those who believe this is settled science.



Claims of scientific ‘consensus’ on global warming called into question… ^

NASA’s Top Official Questions Global Warming… ^

Australian TV to air controverisal documentary claming global warming ‘is a lie’… ^

Climate expert says it’s ‘time to attack the myth of global warming’… ^


Among the many things that bothers me about the global warming scare is the large amounts of money people are making and are going to make from the programs and government regulations that are going to come down.  I am speaking specifically about carbon offsets – BS.  The way it works is that I pay some one to erase my carbon footprint so I don’t have to change my lifestyle.  Please.  Governments are instituting carbon limits and this is creating a new category of investment.  In the business world company X pays Company Y for the carbon credits Company Y doesn’t use so that Company X doesn’t exceed its carbon quota.  Company X doesn’t reduce it’s carbon emissions.  Pretty soon a commodity market is born where companies, brokers, and investors are trading in carbon credits.  Doubt it?  It is already happening in Europe and is going to start in the US.  What kind of incentive is that?

Now closer to home…  How many times do you see a municple or utility vehicle sitting in a parking lot or on the side of the road idling by.  Even private citizens do it.  They leave the car running to keep it warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  They do this in the morning because they don’t want to hop into a cold car for their morning commute.  They do this when they run into the store.  I have seen cars idle for 45 minutes.  I see police cars idling for long periods of time.  Even the Crown Victoria in which Mr. Ulman is chauffered idles when the police officer/driver is waiting for Mr. Ulman to come out of his current event.  I guess Mr. Ulman offsets that by leaving his $25,000 – $35,000 hybrid sitting in his driveway.  What is my point?  Is Howard County going to purchase carbon offsets on the market in order to keep their fleet idling by… or are they going to issue an executive order telling employees to stop the practice and set an example.


10 Responses to “Idling by…”

  1. PZGURU said

    David – Great post. I think gloabl warming is definitely a situation where one side is being much louder in the media and their side is then presumed to be correct by default. There is still a lot scientific evidence that disputes the conclusions of the radical environmentalist lobby efforts. For instance, few of the pro-global warming “scientists” acknowledge the effect of volcanic activity on the gloabl temperature. The fact is that in the mid to late 1990’s, there was a significant upturn in gloabl volcanic activity that caused a COOLING effect on the gloabl temperature. Subsequently, when the temperature readjusted, these global warming scientists began using the corrective upswing to “prove” that global warming was on the verge of cataclysmic. In essence, if the temperature went down 1 degree due to volcanic activity, from say 78 degrees to 77 degrees, then went back up to 78.5 degrees, the scientists are saying that the temperature went up 1.5 degrees, when the truth is that it only went up a NET 0.5 degrees. I will follow up this comment with the source of my info since I have researched this phenomenon of volcanic activity and its role in global temperature patterns, and wouldn’t want to be accused of making this up.

    An interesting note, Al Gore has a company that is in the business of selling carbon credits – well isn’t that special?!?! (my apologies to Dana Carvey and his Church Lady skit). No wonder he’s so dead set to convince the world that the end is near – he stands to make a lot of money as a result.

  2. Freemarket said

    “In the business world company X pays Company Y for the carbon credits Company Y doesn’t use so that Company X doesn’t exceed its carbon quota. Company X doesn’t reduce it’s carbon emissions. Pretty soon a commodity market is born where companies, brokers, and investors are trading in carbon credits. Doubt it? It is already happening in Europe and is going to start in the US. What kind of incentive is that?”

    That is a HUGE incentive, actually. Companies who can cheaply cut their pollution do so and they don’t need to buy pollution permits. Companies who cannot cut their pollution without incurring great expense simply buy the pollution permits. This system creates an efficient way to set the maximum annual pollution that society will tolerate and let the polluters efficiently allocate the “right to pollute” among themselves. The whole idea is genius if you ask me.

  3. Genius for those raking in the green (money that is). It does little if anything to reduce pollution. PZG, here is what I found out about the company Al Gore founded that you />

    Remember those highly publicized “carbon offsets” which AlGore is supposedly purchasing to counter his $2,000.000 per month utility bill (and his use of 20 times the amount of energy per year just in his own home that an average American uses)?
    Well, it turns out that the person that Al Gore is getting these “offsets” from is none other than…well, Al Gore.
    Specifically, Gore is apparently purchasing these “offsets” from a company, called Generation Investment Management, which he co-founded, and for which he serves as chairman.
    Additionally, many enviromental groups are opposed to this permission slip to pollute and get rich quick scheme.
    How about New Science Magazine’s feelings on the issue:
    Far from being a solution to global warming, carbon trading is little more than a licence for big polluters to carry on business as usual, says Larry Lohmann in the 02 November 2006 issue of New Scientist magazine.
    Shell companies are being set up to get allotments of Carbon Credits for the sole purpose of selling them. They don’t produce anything – they are just cashing in.
    Follow the money.

  4. Freemarket said

    David, I think you may be confusing pollution permits with carbon credits. At any rate, it is clear that you grasp very little about either idea. If you knew anything about pollution permits, you would not say “It does little if anything to reduce pollution”, when such a program would allow the government to set the tolerable level of pollution. Businesses then efficiently allocate among themselves the right to pollute this maximum aggregate level by trading the permits with each other. What problem, specifically, do you have with that?

    And so what if Al Gore is buying carbon credits from a company that he is part owner of. What computer operating system do you think Bill Gates uses? Linux? Does the CEO of Verizon use Comcast internet? The point is that Gore is offsetting his personal power use with the generation of an equal amount of clean power. Whether or not he is affiliated with the company the affects this environmental benefit is a red herring.

  5. Freemarket. You are right. I don’t know everything. Be kind enough to explain the difference between pollution permits and carbon credits because I don’t detect much difference. Both still allow big polluters to keep polluting. Educate me if you will.
    As I understand it a company is given a permit for x amout of emmissions (pollution credits) whether it be sulfer dioxide or carbon dioxide. They work the same don’t they? If a company doesn’t use all of its emissions they can then sell them to another company. What am I missing. They are both aspects of “Emmissions Trading” right? To me it is like the government giving away free money.
    Look at this BBC report.

    Many people believe, as the BBC and other references I have provided, just allow polluters to keep on polluting and the net effect is no effect on emmissions.
    Good point about Al Gore. I for one don’t do business with Comcast. However, I still think he sees a market in this and he is going to make money from it and created a company to do so. He is the poster boy (currently) for the global warming group but unless one digs one doesn’t know he is looking to make money on the market he is working so diligently to create. However, his adoring followers may find it disheartening to know he is also trying to take financial advantage. He advocates and advocates yet isn’t forthcoming about his financial interest.
    Serioualy, he was willing to step up and take a great deal of credit for the internet innnovations (note I didn’t say “invented the internet”). However, he is very silent on the innovation in the carbon commodities trading market. How would the general public who has nominated him for sainthood feel if they knew he was playing this for financial gain too?

  6. Freemarket said

    Buddha knows I am no expert either, but there are major differences between energy credits and pollution permits. For one, energy credits do not involve the government. They are transacted between private businesses like this. Basically, the gist is that the “dirty” energy that one uses can be offset by the production of “clean” energy (wind, solar, etc.) subsidized by the credit price. Note that there is no cap in how much pollution can be produced. This is what Al Gore is doing to offset the energy used in his home.

    Pollution permits, on the other hand, require the government to set a maximum aggregate level of pollution that society will tolerate. The government then issues permits to allow private businesses to emit their share of this pollution. If society wants less pollution, the government issues fewer permits. From the point of view of the environment, it does not matter if the government sells the pollution permits on ebay or drops them from helicopters. Businesses who need them will buy them regardless of how they are initially distributed. However, many people dislike the idea of the government giving them away for free so private businesses can resell them, which is the major complaint in the BBC article you linked to. However, this is a complaint about the programs implementation, not its effectiveness. Simply make the government auction off the permits to businesses and use the revenues generated from the sales to pay for compliance with the program.

  7. FM, what you reference is different than Carbon Credits and the associated Carbon Credits Commodities Market.

    Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), also known as Green tags, Renewable Energy Credits, or Tradable Renewable Certificates (TRCs), are the property rights to the environmental benefits from generating electricity from renewable energy sources. These certificates can be sold and traded and the owner of the REC can legally claim to have purchased renewable energy. While traditional carbon emissions trading programs promote low-carbon technologies by increasing the cost of emitting carbon, RECs incentivize carbon-neutral renewable energy by providing a subsidy to electricity generated from renewable sources.

    In states which have a REC program, a green energy provider (such as a wind farm) is credited with one REC for every 1,000 kWh of electricity it produces (for reference, an average residential customer consumes about 300 kWh in a month). A certifying agency gives each REC a unique identification number to make sure it doesn’t get double-counted. The green energy is then fed into the electrical grid (by mandate), and the accompanying REC can then be sold on the open market.

  8. PZGURU said

    I found the articles I had printed out regarding the volcanic activity factor in global temperature fluctuations. The website link is:

    The author of the articles (there are numerous ones on a whole variety of topics) is a man named Matt Rosenberg, whose credentials are outlined on his bio page.

    There is a particular article on the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, in 1991. The article explains how the eruption threw 15-30 million tons of sulfur dioxide gas into the atmosphere, and spread around the entire globe. The global temperature dropped )0.4 – 0.5 degrees over the next 1-2 years.

    The article doesn’t specifically say it, but I figure the global temperature then went back up. And, if scientists then used that “increase” to support their claims of rapid global warming, they might be off base a little.

    An interesting website – check it out.

  9. hocomd said

    95% of the Greenhouse effect is caused by water vapor (some say as little as 66% and as hight as 85%). The remaining 5% consists of carbon dioxide, methane, etc. of which man contributes 3.2% to 5% the rest occuring naturally.

    The fastest growing greenhouse gas is methane (not carbon dioxide). Human activity may cause up to half of methane emmissions. Yet the scinence is contridictary “Long term atmospheric measurements of methane by NOAA show that the build up of methane has slowed dramatically over the last decade, after nearly tripling since pre-industrial times. It is thought that this reduction is due to reduced industrial emissions and drought in wetland areas.” The other half of methane emmissions is naturally occuring. The net life time of methane in the atmosphere is 8.5 years so it has no long term effect on the atmosphere.

    CO2 (carbon dioxide) is an important component of regulating the atmosphere because if absorbs infrared radiation – which if it got through would destroy most biological life.

    Since the two gases often referred to as the leading cause of global warming are such a small part of the gases that contribute to the green house effect and human activity contributes so little to those two gases I doubt human activity is causing global warming or that we can do much to reduce the effect.

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