Big Money to be Made in Carbon Trading

Making money in carbon tradesRichard Sandor is cashing in on carbon “crops.” Mr. Sandor is the CEO of the Chicago Climate Exchange, a firm that is already making big-money deals with major companies to buy and sell paper representing non-carbon.

Companies, like Ford Motors, who ostensibly aren’t emitting as much carbon as they could, sell their “crop” of non-carbon to companies who are producing carbon dioxide in excess of whatever artificial limit is deemed to apply to them. Thus, higher carbon-producing firms can be forgiven by paying Ford and other lower carbon producers for their commodity of non-carbon.

Asked why companies would enter into a carbon trading arrangement when there is no legally required carbon cap in the US, Sandor explained that big companies with lower emissions see big profits in the scheme and added, “If you’re not at the negotiating table, you’re on the menu.”

Naturally, any company that can earn extra profits by selling paper that literally represents nothingness (or, put another way, something that does not exist) would jump at the opportunity. Buy why would anyone buy them? Perception is the key according to Sandor. These are companies that want to be in on the “political debate” (rather than eaten, apparently) and put forth an ecological face to the global market.

Richard Sandor’s recent interview on CNBC is a remarkably honest and revealing look inside carbon trading.

  • Brett

    If I use a gasless lawnmower, can I collect money from my neighbor who uses a gas lawnmower? If so, soon I will take over my block and my plan for district domination will be within reach. Wmua, ha, ha , ha, haaaa. I also shovel my driveway while my neighbor uses a snowblower! I also recycle more than he does, too. I hate my neighbor, he is so backwards. All hail Al Gore! Goosestep, goosestep, goosestep.

  • D.H. Lawrence

    For many of Americans, money is the be-all to end-all. However, money to the richest people means power and influence, access to exclusive clubs, secret conferences, exotic retreats, sexy companions, and, of course, politicians. For this small chunk of Americans, money begets more money, money talks and everything else walks, including laws, ethics and common decency. It’s that simple.

    Regardless of whether this is simply endemic to the human condition, Americans like to think “the people” hold power here; “the people” is inclusive, not exclusive. Still, the people don’t always raise their collective and inclusive voice. That voice, in fact, seems to fade in times of prosperity, only to rise again when the bubbles and money scams inevitably burst and the government, or someone, has to clean up the messes. Such a democracy is crisis-driven and, frankly, dysfunctional.

    Whether the powers that be care to admit or face it, we are in one of those times of crisis now. And while the people’s voice is rising, the confusion over what to say has too. Perhaps, then, the best way to get a handle on the sheer enormity of the current mess we’re in is provided by Kevin Phillips in Bad Money, a new book in which he chronicles “reckless finance, failed politics, and the global crisis of American capitalism.”

    One of the most stunning of the many stunning things Phillips, who lives in Goshen, Conn., conveys in this short but powerful book is a simple statistic: “Financial services” makes up 21 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, while manufacturing makes up just 12 percent. In other words, America’s “wealth” is now built on sleight of hand con-artistry that does not produce anything tangible. The actual making of products — those things we use and consume in our daily life — has been shipped to other countries, even as our national debt and trade deficit approaches numbers that only the likes of Stephen Hawking can comprehend. Phillips notes, “‘Risky’ doesn’t begin to describe this new focus in the American economy.”

    Under the inept stewardship of the current regime, the U.S. dollar has fallen so far that foreign banks are now trying to unload it. They want their coffers filled with stronger currency than our greenbacks.

    How did we get in such a fix? Phillips breaks down America’s “reckless finance” in a manner that even a monetary dunce like me can understand. He indicts hedge funds and marginally criminal activities like day trading, as well as asset-backed securities and collaterized (sic) debt obligations. Ultimately, Phillips pins much of the decline to the “botched petroleum-driven invasion of Iraq.”

    The perpetrators of this mess are a small, if overly powerful minority. And, given that money also talks loudly in our courtrooms, they will likely go unpunished, except monetarily — that is, whatever it costs them to pay their lawyers. But the, ahem, bottom line here is that, while a minority of people perpetrated this mess, the vast majority of us were conned and went along for the ride without raising our collective voice.

    Thus, because we largely remained silent when all of this was going down, we bear some responsibility for this crisis too. How do they achieve this feat? Mostly they confuse and divert via the mainstream media, and sites like these, to get the public to fight each other so we don’t notice them ruining this country for their own gross benefit.

  • DH, Davion, S. Clemens, or whoever you are: I’ve blocked the majority of your comments because: You are posting from multiple aliases, using phony hotmail email addresses and are posting comments unrelated to the topic. It would be nice if, as a rule of thumb, you would limit your comments to be no longer than the post you are commenting about. Thanks.

    If you want to write long articles about your own subjects, please set up your own blog. Google offers them for free.

  • D.H. Lawrence

    It’s the message that counts though. Any of the posters could be using real names, partial names, or not, what does that matter? Anyway, you’ve been somewhat more tolerant about it than I thought you’d be. And I like the articles on the Ethanol scam! Good job. As I’ve suggested before, try to be more inclusive with this site, and not so biased and on-demensional- it diminishes what it is you are probably trying to do- whatever that may be. All important issues are complex, don’t dumb any of it down- that helps no one. And except for a very small minority on both sides it seems clear that all the rest of the politicians in this country are crooks and pretty much scumbags. Our political system is corrupt and broken. Maybe you could start to help enlighten the public about that? We need new electoral laws and rules, and more than the two crooked parties. Go for it Dan! What this country doesn’t need are any more “echo chambers.”

  • Posting multiple comments daily under multiple aliases is unacceptable. Had legitimate email addresses been used, this discussion would have taken place via email instead of in this comment forum.

  • John Johnson

    Just a quick response to D.H. –
    I keep hearing that our electoral laws are broken and that our country should be democratic instead of the republic system that we have.

    This is utter ignorance speaking and this is exactly what our founding fathers tried to protect the country from when they set it up. The reason our country has lasted as long as it has is because government is slightly “insulated” from the masses of public.

    You see, when the public rules, the masses rule. When the masses rule, things fall apart because you choose to be ruled and governed by the least educated people in your society (the general masses of people). The reason a republic works is because you elect somebody to represent your best interests. This person then educates himself/herself on the subject at hand and makes an educated decision about it – something the masses do not do.

    A true democracy in the United States would really turn out to be a republic ruled by the elite news media. They would tell the masses how to feel and how to vote – and they would.

    Our system is not broken – our people are failing us!

  • Rob N. Hood

    Umm, that’s what we have now- and if you can’t see that I just feel sorry for you, and for the future of this country. You are the true elitist, something which liberals have been painted unfarily as being. Liberals are all about democracy- real democracy. True elitists fear that more than anything. We no longer have a democracy in this country and THAT sir is what the Founding Father’s worked and died for- do your homework. Real Democracy is a fragile and special thing- not seen on this planet very often or for very long- because the Stupid masses are not trusted by those in power. And that situation snowball’s until the society collapses upon itself due to runaway corruption We’ve let or Democracy it slip away- mainly due to the corruption of money and power, which in turn has created an ingnorant society. We are then pitted against each other, eg. you and me, and all the while those truly in power (not you I’m sure- or me!) are getting richer and more corrupt. Sinply look to history and all the once great societies that have failed for this reason. True democracy, if you can get it, is the only solution to that problem. What you are talking about, just about anyone would agree is not what America shuld be about. The pilgrims came to this land to get away from what you are promoting. Very sad that we have citizens who feel and think th eway you do. It is quite shocking actually. And YES the system is very much BROKEN!

  • Our founders (thankfully) did not give us a “true democracy.” We have a republic. Democracy in it’s pure sense is tyranny of the majority, and would quickly implode. Republics seem doomed to the same implosion, but it takes longer. The implosion I refer to is caused by the realization that people can vote themselves money.

    The masses weren’t entirely trusted by our founders, either. Hense: A three branch republican government with two legislative houses. The House of Representatives is the branch that is supposed to represent the common man. The Senate was designed to represent the elitists, (think House of Commons and House of Lords).

    The governent mix set up by the founders was meant to keep any one faction from gaining too much power over others. It’s a brilliant system, but one which has been corrupted over the years and is in need of a major tune up.

    It’s little more than a money tree now.

  • Rob N. Hood

    I don’t disagree with everything you said above, but for Pete’s sake, what in the world is “Tyranny of the majority”?? That seems very spurious to me, to say the least, not to mention elitist. Please tell us what kind of system you think us serfs need! I’d like to know. Re: the Founding Fathers, I beleive there was basically two factions, one that did want democracy in its purest form, or as close to as possible, and the other that wanted a Republic. I think they both got some of what they wanted. But be fair please- what people came here for was to be rid of being ruled by an uncaring elite who only looked out for themselves. And that is what we have now. It can be fixed, desperatelyneeds to be fixed. But the people of average means need to band together and stop bickering over minor details and such crap. Otherwise this country is definitely doomed. We sure don’t want to fight for change and have that change be another version of the same pitiful thing.

  • You don’t understand how a bigger group can tyrannize a smaller group? Wow – I don’t even know how to go about explaining that. It’s kind of like explaining why water is wet. Our constitution’s prime purpose as one of the cogs in our republic is to prevent a tyranny of the majority. Have civics lessons been completely removed from our schools’ curricula now?

  • It’s little more than a money tree now.

  • Interesting information provided. You have given this post a lot of thought and care, which is so rare these days. Many people just throw stuff together, just to get something onto the internet, so it is good to see that some people still care. Thanks.
    Barry

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