Following the climate change money trail

I’ve already blogged a couple of times about the connection between climate change hysteria and global social justice, specifically the apparent intent of progressives to justify their goal of redistributing wealth “fairly” around the world by convincing us that such a wealth redistribution scheme is now the only way to “save the planet” from the certain doom of global warming.

But progressives have been very reluctant to discuss the enormous financial engine that their savvy business class has developed for the purpose of carrying out this gargantuan redistribution scheme.

Over at Pajamas Media, Charlie Martin has written a nice summary of the “big picture” surrounding global warming and Climategate. He discusses, in depth, the climate change money trail — and guess whose coffers get filled first:

There is a financial empire being built on top of AGW, one that we’ve already begun to discuss on PJM. The basics are simple. If you accept that CO2 is the problem, then steps need to be taken to reduce CO2 emissions, which many developed countries have attempted using “cap and trade” schemes. In cap and trade, you use the law to require companies in developed countries to reduce their CO2 emissions, or to buy carbon offsets if they can’t.

… It is, of course, purely a coincidence that this market, which simply doesn’t exist without the legal requirement that companies reduce carbon emissions, is closely connected with the politically connected people who are pushing for carbon restrictions by law and treaty.

… But now consider what would have happened if Copenhagen had gone through and the agreement had been made. The carbon markets would continue, of course, but now nearly every industrial operation in nearly every developed or under-developed or undeveloped country — for all practical purposes, all manufacturing, power generation, or transportation — would need to establish its carbon impact, and buy or sell the appropriate carbon credits. Every one of which would result in paying fees and commissions to the carbon exchanges, as well as the governments involved and the UN.

The owners of the carbon exchanges wouldn’t be as rich as Croesus — they would be so rich they could hire Croesus as a houseboy.

Of course the most famous public figure with deep financial ties to the climate change money machine is Al Gore. During the last ten years, he has increased his personal fortune a hundredfold, from “between $1 million and $2 milion” (from his 2000 Presidential candidacy disclosures) to over $100 million in 2007. Gore and former Goldman Sachs executive David Blood founded Generation Investment Management (GIM), a venture capital firm that invests in “green” businesses. GIM is a member of the Chicago Carbon Exchange (CCX) which is the commodity trading market created to facilitate the sale of carbon credits.

“Chicago” … Where have we heard that city mentioned before?

The blog ProPatria provided more details about the relationship between GIM and CXX in an excellent post on the “Big Green Money Trail” a few years ago:

Since GIM is a member of CCX, but isn’t actually a carbon emitting entity in itself, we can assume that they are an aggregator (small entities cannot trade on their own and have to go through an aggregator if they deal in less than 10,000 tons of carbon). This is further evidenced by the fact that Al Gore buys his own carbon credits through GIM. Since GIM has no transparency in its business, it’s hard to say how much they deal in carbon, but we can bet it’s significant. Also of interest is the fact that Goldman Sachs owns 9.31% of CCX’s parent company, and 3 out of 6 founding partners of Generation have ties to Goldman Sachs.

And would it surprise anyone that the second largest corporate contributor to Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign was … Goldman Sachs?

Even if progressive idealists are completely committed to the notion of climate change because they are so deeply emotionally invested in their commitment to social justice and the global redistribution of wealth, it seems to me that they should still find the idea of such massive profiteering offensive and revolting. After all, doesn’t progressivism (and its parent economic theory, Marxism) consider profit to be a sinful tool used by the wealthy to leverage power and keep the masses poor and suffering? Isn’t profit the driving force behind the most axiomatic progressive belief about capitalism — “the rich get richer while the poor get poorer”?

Or have progressives sold out and resigned themselves to notion that carbon trade profiteering is simply a necessary evil in order for their dream of (mostly) equal world-wide distribution of wealth and political power to be realized?

Regardless of their feelings toward the subject, progressives — particularly journalists — owe us a serious, in-depth look at the huge financial machine that will drive the carbon trading industry. If “Big Oil” has become today’s uber-villain due the ubiquitous nature of fossil fuels as an energy source, how can we expect “Big Green,” which will profit from the regulation of carbon dioxide, to magically be any more virtuous?

ADDED: You will also enjoy this fascinating (though lengthy and very detailed) look at the North Pole ice caps, and the melt/refreeze cycle that we have been observing at the North Pole for nearly 200 years. In short, deep ocean currents (which are essentially immune to atmospheric effects) under the polar ice caps create a system that slowly oscillates from warmer to cooler temperatures, thus resulting in more or less polar ice. The author of the piece also quite sensibly notes, “Since ice sea displaces its own weight in sea water, thickening or thinning of sea ice has a zero effect on sea level.”

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