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Big Business Sees Green

In the wake of cap and trade passing the House last Friday, we’ve made the cover story for our August issue, “The Green-Industrial Complex,” [1] available online. Brendan O’Neill reveals how “green” carbon legislation privileges big business at the expense of small businesses and nonprofits — and of course, the taxpayer. Here’s a taste:

Under the plan first proposed in the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 and introduced in Europe in the early and mid-2000s, the European Union and UN allocate to industry legal titles to emit a certain amount of CO2. Because the titles are transferable, and because large numbers were allocated to large corporations when the licenses were first introduced, there arose a market in carbon-trading. Powerful businesses were able to sell their CO2 permits to smaller companies that needed to emit a certain amount of CO2. This created the bizarre, but apparently environmentalist, situation in which major corporations with extra CO2 titles were able to charge smaller organizations for the “right” to emit carbon.

In the UK, the University of Manchester, like so many other educational institutions, public buildings, and small businesses, had to pay up. It forked over £92,500 for CO2 permits-and when the carbon-trading market hit the recession and the value of CO2 permits fell, the university would be doing well, said one report, “if it managed to get £1,000 for the lot of them.” The Green-Industrial Complex’s transformation of CO2 into a tradeable commodity actually empowered large corporations and led to new forms of risky speculation.

Read on [1].

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#1 Comment By Barney Rebble On June 29, 2009 @ 12:36 pm

Is the pendulum beginning it’s swing back, or, is it just beginning to come to a “slow” in it’s leftward swing, beginning to just hang there, in our slow-motion view, without any apparant support?

Was it only 3 or 4 months ago when vitriolic snarling and insults, by TAC bloggers, greeted anyone trying to introduce any of the parts of this puzzle, so brilliantly laid out by Brendan O’Neill?


Too late for the spineless current collection of conservative congresspersons. But in time for us to clean house, to have “our sidewalk in order”, when the pendulum swings back our way, possibly as soon as 2010.

(We’ll be putting the liberal people who ruined our economy in jail for life… ?? Oh sorry!!! Did I say that out loud? Just an idle daydream. Ignore that.)

I applaud TAC for the courage to publish what must seem a very un-PC article as, “Green-Industrial Complex”.

#2 Comment By me On June 30, 2009 @ 10:52 am

Barney, nice idea, but the democrats, EU and even the ‘republicans’ are intent on electing a new people.

#3 Comment By Hilary Smith On July 1, 2009 @ 2:34 am

The Right won’t be satisfied until our children are working 20 hour days in dirty factories and our elderly are dragging their half-dead starving carcasses to the soup kitchens for a shot at some bone soup. Then they’ll tell us what they tell us now which is that “no one is starving in America.” They’d love to see us clawing each others eyes out, licking our chops just for the chance to work for rotten scraps. The proponents of social Darwinism will never give up until they’ve made their sick capitalist utopia a reality. Therefore we, the People, can never give up. Get off the couch and fight against them today or be prepared to fight for your very life come 20 years from now.

#4 Comment By Barney Rebble On July 1, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

@Hilary Smith – presumably you are describing 3 years ago, when the republicans were in control of the budget, just before the dems took over.

So then, what’s your evidence that charity has gone *up* since then?

Are you looking at California cutting back on making it’s welfare payments, due to out-of-control entitlements, and loss of people to pay the bills (from over-regulation)?

Are you looking at rising travel and utility costs? Will you come back next year and survey the unemployment, and check skyrocketing food prices?

You are a talented poet, although a little light on facts.