Jb's Blog

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The Green Machine

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The Green Machine. I’ll be upfront and honest by stating that I’ve always been skeptical about the whole push to move us into Green mode. And I’m finally posting a look at just how this Green Machine works. Since Cap and Trade would be such a huge change in the way we use and pay for energy in all segments of our economy, and because it appears to be (like it or not) on our horizon, let’s take a look at just one real-world example of the way this Green Agenda plays out, shall we?

Ok, I’m all in favor of conserving our natural resources whenever possible and not doing unnecessary harm to our planet, but tell me if this seems just a wee bit wacky to you.

The good people who host my domain just sent notice that they’ve gone totally green! And they tell me that because of that my hosted site qualifies to display certification as an eco-friendly site. Woo-hoo!! They explain:

We are green, so you are green. Our offices and our data centers are all powered by 100% wind energy. You can be proud that the machines hosting your website and email are eco-friendly, which makes you eligible for our Green Certificate.

BUT… here’s where it starts to get wacky… in the ‘fine print,’ they further state:

Since generating wind energy on site isn’t feasible, we’re offsetting all of our electricity use with wind-generated Renewable Energy Certificates, which prevent the release of 2,660 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere each year.

Here’s my certificate. Pretty cool, eh?

So let me get this straight: They’re claiming that they are totally green, “all powered by 100% wind energy,” and even providing certification to that fact, yet they aren’t actually USING wind energy because it would be unfeasible for them to generate it? They simply pay good money to purchase a piece of paper that SAYS they’re using wind energy, when they really aren’t? The energy they actually use in powering their offices and the servers that host my domain still comes from the same old “traditional” sources, meaning that it’s probably generated by burning coal. If it comes from a coal burning plant, then 2,660 metric tons of carbon dioxide are STILL being produced to meet their energy requirements. Yet they can now claim that they are “powered by 100% wind energy.” And they can feel really good while bragging about it. Wow. That’s messed up!

In all fairness, there really are people generating clean wind energy. But what happens to that energy once it is created? And how does it get used (consumed)? Here’s an oversimplified look in layman’s terms. A large wind farm will SELL the energy it produces to a power company. The power company buys the energy and routes it into their power grid, which is like a pool of energy that has been produced by a number of different possible methods. This pool can be made up of energy which was produced by coal burning energy plants, by nuclear energy plants, from solar production, from wind farms, and perhaps other means as well. The power company then delivers energy from this pool to all their customers, down the power lines that come into your house or business. So customers who choose NOT to buy Renewable Energy Certificates are actually consuming just as much wind-generated energy as a customer like my webhost who HAVE thrown good money into purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates. Remember that the wind farm was paid for their product – “green power” – by the power company which purchased it from them. So who gets the money from the sale of these Renewable Energy Certificates? Someone does. But it’s not necessarily the people who produce the green energy. It’s a shell game.

And that, my friends, gives us a glimpse into how I think this whole green thing is going to operate in our future. It’s nothing more than a feel-good with no real substance, except that the real substance of it is that someone stands to make tremendous profit while we continue business as usual. It’s smoke and mirrors. It means paying a whole lot more for something new and (supposedly) ‘better,’ while we still get the same old product. The urgent need to get us away from burning coal is somehow met if we simply purchase “certificates” which state that we’re using new renewable energy, even as the old coal burning power plant continues to produce and deliver the same juice we’ve always used.

Once we’re all required by future legislation to be using green power (see that coming?) and we’re paying exorbitant rates for it (but hey, isn’t the wind free?), how can we know we aren’t being subjected to the same kind of bait and switch scheme my webhost has fallen prey to? With electricity, how can you tell where it came from? It would be one thing if clean wind generated power LOOKED different in some way from dirty old coal generated power. If that were the case, we could LOOK at our power and confirm that we’re actually being delivered green energy for the significantly higher rates we’ll all be paying for it. But with electricity you can’t tell that way. We’ll have to trust someone… blindly.

SOMEone is going to make an insanely huge amount of money off of all this. And we’re supposed to feel really good about having to pay it, because we’ll be saving the planet, after all. But I’ll bet we’ll still be getting the same old product. Just like my webhost… “totally certifiably green,” while at the same time they admit oh by the way, we’re still actually using the same old completely un-green energy we always did. But we’re paying so much more for it!! Isn’t that great??!

Cap and Trade works in much the same way, as far as I can tell. Industries and individual customers are assigned a base level of ‘allowances’ to emit a determined amount of greenhouse gasses. If, in the course of doing business, they need to generate more greenhouse gasses than they are allowed under the guidelines, they simply purchase Carbon Credits from another customer who isn’t using all of their allocation. But the bottom line is that the same amount of greenhouse gasses will be produced, either way. The only difference is that under the Green scenario, massive amounts of money have exchanged hands, and consequently we’ll ALL be paying far more not only for our own electricity use, but also for each and every item we buy which uses energy in its production or delivery (and what doesn’t fall into that category?). Does this make sense? Does this sound like the direction we need to be headed in?

Former Vice President Al Gore has a major financial stake in foisting the Green Agenda on us. His investment firm, Generation Investment Management, owns shares in Camco International Ltd, a carbon asset developer. Camco is a company which deals in the sale of carbon credits. This obviously means that Gore stands to make substantial income from the trading of carbon credits. This may provide a look into one of the main reasons Gore is so much in favor of seeing that Congress passes Cap and Trade legislation. It’s obvious that without regulation and legislation, the Green Agenda would be totally unsustainable in a free market economy (since all customers of the power company get the same juice delivered to them, whether they’ve bought Renewable Energy Certificates or not). So just how noble is the Nobel laureate in all of this? Does the term ‘appearance of impropriety’ come to mind? If he truly were interested in protecting the environment, and he really does believe that man’s production of greenhouse gasses is the number one contributor to the evil of global warming, then why is he making certain that he’s positioned to make obscene profits from enacting the Green Agenda? Wouldn’t the noble thing for him to do be to ‘do it for free?’ For the people. For the planet. For our survival. Not for his own financial gain. It certainly should call into question the real reasons behind his ardent fervor in promoting the Green Agenda.

This whole Green thing, if Cap and Trade becomes law, would be ripe for abuse and manipulation and fraud. It’s hard to imagine that there could ever be a bigger opportunity for bribery and massive corruption, when you consider that in order to implement this, a huge new federal bureaucracy will have to be created to police enforcement and structure guidelines, and to monitor the purchase and distribution of these goofy carbon credits. Talk about the king of all cesspools for corporate lobbying and corruption – this is it.

Forget about the fact that the whole Green agenda is based on what is increasingly being shown to be ‘junk science’ and fraud and intimidation. It is certainly not based in ‘settled science’ as we continue to hear. Just consider the way it plays out in the example of my webhosting company. It’s completely preposterous. But there are those who stand to make huge profits from it, just to continue to do things the way they’ve always been done. Smoke and mirrors. Shell game. A government-run Bernie Madoff scam on steroids which will financially effect every single element of our economy and society. Is that what we need?

Remember what the frog said:

It’s not easy, being green.

We’re all going to find out very soon just how right he was.


Written by jb

March 19, 2010 at 12:15 pm

One Response

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  1. great post jb!


    March 19, 2010 at 9:25 pm

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