Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fairy dust, fraud and eco-slavery -- all part of the world's new carbon market

While state-owned Meridian Energy touts feel-good carbon credits on Trade Me, another punter has offered up something no less useful: Carbon Zero Rated Fairy Dust. As the seller tells a punter down in the entertaining questions section, "as with other Carbon Zero Rated entities, in this case the Fairy CEO simply says its carbon zero rated so it is." [Hat tip Elliot Who?]

Actually, Fairy Credits seem far less toxic and far more honest than the other carbon credits so widely touted elsewhere. At least you get a laugh for your money with a Fairy Credit, but as a Financial Times investigation uncovered "widespread failings in the new markets for greenhouse gases," suggest some organisations are paying for emissions reductions that do not even begin to take place.

Widespread fraud is the very least of the worries with carbon zero rated fairy dust carbon credits; Brendan O'Neill points out at Sp!ked Online that European carbon credits are funding something out of a darker age: eco-slavery. "In offsetting his flights by sponsoring ‘eco-friendly’ hard labour in India," says O'Neill, David Cameron and his fellow wets have "exposed the essence of environmentalism."

"Welcome to the era of eco-enslavement," says O'Neill. Commenting on this vicious contemporary cocktail of eco-slavery and "guilt offsets," Luboš comments:
Do you feel guilty about your two-week break in Barbados, when you flew thousands of miles and lived up with cocktails on sunlit beaches? Well, offset it by sponsoring eco-friendly child labor in the third world!

O'Neill mentions that some people call the retailers of these extreme techniques "climate cowboys" but it is a misnomer because these methods are no exceptional excesses: they are a realization of the very essence of mainstream environmentalism, namely contempt for human dignity and technological progress.

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