Part II : Jesus turned water to wine, but who turned hot air into $$$$$ ?

Before anyone starts screaming at me for what I am about to write, let me say that I am all about saving and preserving the world we live on for as long as we possibly can. If you read anything of what I write, you will know that I advocate for a number of environmental issues. I’m not a scientist,a climatologist, or even a meteorologist. I am, however, a devoted mother of 4 who was raised in what used to be the pristine,”true north – strong and free “.  So, by all rights that makes me an environmentalist and activist of  sorts,  through birth and motherhood.

 I used to argue with my father about forestry practices and how those in the industry needed to start looking towards other means of sustaining their livelihoods before every damn tree was cut down – and that was long before the term sustainability came into common language. I questioned the wisdom of the large plumes of emissions erupting from the pulp mill stacks, and the burner at the saw mill.  Let’s just say that since he and the rest of my family are forestry workers, we didn’t exactly see eye to eye on these issues. He saw men out of work, I saw forests without trees. I still do, and I suspect as hard as it is for him to admit it, now he does as well.

One would think it should be common sense at this point in our development as a supposedly enlightened society, to do as little damage and leave as little impact as we can while we go about the business of actually doing business, and living life. Turn off the lights. Walk when you can, take the bus, use reuseable bags, and conserve our precious water supplies. You know what I mean, I don’t need to spell it out.

All of  this is why I really have a hard time with this whole business of carbon credits, carbon offsets and the regulations that the provincial government has imposed on all of the public sector who were supposedly going to be carbon neutral by 2010. To me, it really appears to be a government mandated climate scam on another level, and I’m going to tell you why I think so.

Well, it’s 2010 now, and is the public sector in BC carbon neutral? I think not.  What’s that? You don’t have a clue what carbon neutral even is? Carbon credits and offsets are a foreign language to you ? Don’t feel so bad, because you are not alone.

The fact is that far too many  British Columbians haven’t a clue what all of this means, and I suspect that is just fine with Gordon Campbell and the Liberals, because as long as you don’t understand the theory behind it and where all the money goes, no one will ask any questions. Make it as confusing as hell and pretty soon the average Joe or Jill has a headache and goes to bed, still clueless as to how it all works.

To be honest, I’ve been in the same boat and for the most part, ignored the entire carbon credit/offset/neutral business altogether – until one company name started popping up all over the place last year : Offsetters Clean Technology.

But first, before I get into how James Tansey has turned hot air into $$$$, let’s go back… wayyy back, to 2007 or thereabouts, when” it” all started :  “it”, meaning  Gordon Campbell’s Green Dream, of course.

The world was deep in the alarmist reactionary mode to the horrific threat of global warming and as a result,politicians and environmentalists everywhere were heeding the call to action.  The provincial government, under the guidance of Gordon Campbell, was no different. Long story short, the premiers Green Dream of glory resulted in a carbon tax and the allotment of $24 million over 4 years to the creation of a new crown corporation known as the Pacific Carbon Trust. 

What does this Pacific Carbon Trust do? The website says this:

  Credible offsets. A cleaner environment. A vibrant low-carbon economy.

We need to act on many fronts to address climate change. Pacific Carbon Trust offers an important part of the solution. We are a Crown corporation of the Government of BC, created to deliver quality made-in-BC greenhouse gas offsets to help clients reduce their carbon footprint and drive the growth of BC’s low-carbon economy.

Together with our partners and clients, we are creating a cleaner environment and a modern B.C. economy.

What We Do

We offer quality carbon offsets, measured as one metric tonne of carbon dioxide or equivalent (CO2e) that is reduced or removed from the atmosphere as a result of emission-reducing (offset) activities.

For example, if a business reduces emissions by 10,000 tonnes of CO2e through a qualifying energy efficiency initiative, it can sell those emissions savings or offsets to us. We will in turn offer a portfolio of offsets to clients to counter their emissions.

What is a carbon offset?

 

A carbon offset represents a reduction or sequestration of greenhouse gas emissions generated by activities, such as improved energy efficiency, that can be used to balance the emissions from another source, such as a plane trip.

To ensure the offsets we offer provide a true additional benefit, the carbon savings must be verified by an objective third party, and our purchases must support offset projects that otherwise would not have been viable. These and other requirements are outlined in the Ministry of Environment’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act and Emission Offsets Regulation.

Whoooa Nellie… sounds like an entirely different language, no? Well, the good people at the Pacific Carbon Trust have been so helpful as to provide an entire section of FAQ to help us out. You can take a look at it yourself at this link: http://www.pacificcarbontrust.com/FAQs/tabid/61/Default.aspx , and I urge you to do so, because it will assist you in understanding why I question all of this, and perhaps why you should think a little more about it as well.  Especially since under the Climate Change and offsets section, it specifically refers to global warming ( they define global warming as climate change)  as the reason behind all of this.

The creation of the carbon tax and the act and ensuing regulations governing climate protocols in British Columbia meant one thing: an entirely new industry was born in British Columbia, one that centered all around the buying and selling, creation and disbursement of carbon offsets, which in turn leads to the carbon credit.

This is where James Tansey and Offsetters Clean Technology comes in. The first time I really recall hearing this company name was when it was announced that the 2010 Olympics were going to be the greenest games on the planet.  VANOC made an announcement that a deal had been reached with Offsetters to become the official carbon offsetter of the Olympic Games- to the tune of approximately $5 million. Quite the deal if you ask me.

Shortly thereafter, finance minister Colin Hansen announced that the Pacific Carbon Trust had made a deal to purchase over 300,000 emission offsets from – you guessed it – Offsetters clean technology.

And the rest is history…

Some of you might be sleeping by now, some of you might be freaking out and wondering how it is that I could question such an amazing innovation like carbon offsets. After all, what could be wrong about offsetting harmful emissions, right?

The truth is,after reading the websites of  both Pacific Carbon Trust( remember, this is a crown corporation and your tax dollars at work here)  and Offsetters- a private and profitable business, I only have more doubt as to the effectiveness of all of it.

First of all, with regards to the crown corporation, Pacific Carbon Trust,  who is in charge of monitoring all of this? Who checks if the offset projects truly are what they claim to be ? Who is verifying the numbers ? 

As it happens, there is a FAQ  section on the government site that attempts to address these questions, but look at the answer it gives  for this question:

8. Who are validation and verification bodies?

Validation bodies review project plans and issue assurance statements on the basis of their findings. The validation of a project plan includes an assessment of the project’s additionality, selection of sources, sinks, reservoirs, and the protocol selected by the proponent.

Verification bodies assess project reports and issue assurance statements on the basis of their findings. The verification of project reports include an assessment of the project’s greenhouse gas reduction, data collection, monitoring, and calculations.

Initially a team which includes a person authorized to act as an auditor of a company and at least one qualified professional (as defined in the regulation) will be able to act as a validation or verification body. As of July 1, 2010 validation and verification bodies will need to be accredited, in accordance with ISO 14065, by a member of the International Accreditation Forum to use ISO 14064-3.

Soooo… I still have no clue WHO the people are that validate and verify the projects, offsets and numbers, and according to this, prior to July 1st of this year, these independent ” bodies” did not even have to be accredited !  What?  It boggles the mind that there are ‘bodies’ out there that may or may not be qualified to even perform this function- because they have not been accredited- to make any kind of assessment. But of course, we still don’t even know who these people are,where they came from and what their qualifications are.

It gets even better. Try and give this a try:

How do I quantify my proposed offset project?

Proponents are encouraged to select a recognized protocol (for example, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has numerous expert and publicly reviewed methodologies) and adapt, as necessary, to the B.C. context.

Over time, an optional list of approved protocols will be developed and made available to project proponents.

In addition, the Director of the Climate Change Branch of the Ministry of Environment has the authority to designate mandatory protocols. These protocols may relate to any of the following:

  • Selection of sources, sinks, or reservoirs.
  • Baseline scenarios.
  • Quantification of Greenhouse Gas Reductions.
  • Monitoring Greenhouse Gas sources, sinks, and reservoirs
  • Encouraged? Proponents are ‘encouraged’  to  select a recognized protocol? Shouldn’t a crown corporation be demanding it as a requirement? how about setting a standard so we know tax dollars aren’t being wasted here.

    I could go on, but you get the point. The science is still  relatively new, and as it turns out, highly questionable at best, in my opinion. After doing a bit more research, it appears that I am far from being the only one questioning the value of the entire carbon offset industry.

    Critics worldwide have long deemed carbon offsets as a way for the guilty to pay for their sins, rather than changing their behavior. ” Hey, I’m still going to fly 20 times a year, but I’ll by some offsets and it’s ok!! )  In BC, it seems we still have no cut and dry standard of verifying and measuring the offsets absolutely. It is often said that companies will get ” independent verification” as to appear credible and avoid the appearance of fraud, but as it clearly spelled on the BC government site,  those mysterious verification and validation bodies have been operating with accreditation for the last two years!!  Who the hell knows what has been going on over there and where this taxpayer-funded money has been going.

    There are more controversies with the entire carbon offset industry, and although I generally refrain from using Wikipedia as a source, it sums up all those controversies in one location. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_offset

    The most interesting source of information that takes a hard look at some of the key people in charge of the Pacific Carbon Trust and those that comprise the BC Green Energy  AdvisoryTask Force was located on the Save our Rivers website. I would consider it to be a damning report that shows the potential conflicts and highly questionable business relationships of those deemed with advising and overseeing the direction our government takes at this crucial juncture in our provinces history. Oddly enough, a familiar name appears even here, by the appearance of Chris Trumpy….. 🙂  ( that guy really gets around)

    Should those parties with an outside and vested interest that may be profit or politically motivated, be charged with advising on allegedly ‘clean’ energy issues? Read this link, and decide for yourself. http://saveourrivers.ca/action/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/TaskForce-Group2-Backgrounder-Dec16-09.pdf 

    Clearly, the premiers Green Dream and lofty goals of a carbon neutral public sector are  still just that – a dream.  Even more questionable, is the requirement for school districts to have to adhere to his protocols by purchasing – you guessed it-  carbon offsets to meet the guidelines. Don’t meet the target and the district has to pay a penalty on top of it. 

    Now again, I’m just a concerned mother and citizen of this province, but considering the school system has been underfunded and shortchanged for so long that a goof majority of students learn in cold, damp drafty old portables that cost a small fortune to even try and heat, wouldn’t it make more sense to exempt the schools from this requirement ?  Take a look at this excerpt from an article that ran in the TRicity News – and keep in mind this was written last year :

    Few British Columbians are against tackling climate change.
    But making students lab rats in an experiment to make the province a leader in the exchange of carbon credits is not the way to do it.

    Starting next year, school districts will be expected to calculate and pay for carbon emissions when there’s no money in the pot to pay for teachers.

    It’s an added financial burden for districts already caught in a cash crunch.

    The Surrey School District is already facing a $9.5-million shortfall due to a reduction in revenues and increased costs.

    The carbon emission plan imposed by the province will add nearly $2 million in expenses annually to Surrey’s bottom line – the equivalent of the annual salaries for 28 full-time teachers.

    First, districts have to buy and use an expensive, time-consuming calculator – from the province, which developed it – to figure out how many tonnes of carbon emissions they create in heating and lighting schools, then they’ll pay carbon offsets to industry through a carbon exchange called the Pacific Carbon Trust. This Crown corporation will then use the funds to reward industries that cut back on their carbon emissions.

    But should schools be subsidizing industry? And is this the right time to do it?

    True, schools that cut energy and electricity consumption will save money and reduce their carbon footprint.

    But exactly how can they afford to do that without dedicated funds? There was the annual facilities grant but that was cut and what reserves are left are being used for basic maintenance.

    You would think B.C. Education Minister Margaret MacDiarmid would be sympathetic. But, no, she’s sticking to her guns on the 2010 deadline and says no extra money is available for the program.

    I can’t say it any better than that.

    I agree, few people in this province will deny the need for industry and commercial business to cut harmful emissions. But after a closer examination of the people and the projects initiated by our premier, it’s clear things are not what they appear to be. There are no strict guidelines and far too many loose ends to ensure that this tax money it being well spent, and in the end, how much has any of it impacted how the majority of industry in BC does business?

    It might make good copy, and even better PR for the companies touting their ‘carbon neutrality’, but I’m guessing the only thing Gordon Campbell’s Green Dream has done, is lined the pockets of more than a few industrious businessmen in BC – and no one  has been the wiser. Sure, buying some carbon offsets might contribute to some great new clean energy or some amazing new industrial mechanism that isn’t firing out some black toxic smoke, but remember this. 

    Those same carbon offsets are doing nothing to stop the current and ongoing, real-life every day emissions that are happening right now as we speak. On that one point alone, I question all of it. This program is doing nothing to  stop, or even really change the way big, powerful polluters are doing business at this very second.

    But hey, at least some CEO can say: ” We manage to minimize our tremendous environmental damage by purchasing carbon offsets….”  Maybe, just maybe he or she really believes it’s doing some good, but I doubt it. More likely they  view offsets as a free pass to commit environmental treachery, sanctioned by the government.

    I say, time to call for full and comprehensive, PUBLIC review of all the entire program to see if it has come close to living up to the dream- Campbell’s Green Dream.

    My kids, and yours, depend on it.

    21 thoughts on “Part II : Jesus turned water to wine, but who turned hot air into $$$$$ ?

    1. Lynn

      I too am mindful of how I consume. I turn off lights when they are not needed. I reduce, reuse, rethink everything I touch. That is just the way I was raised.
      A farm girl I am. I have never believed the climate warming bunk. I grew up respecting Mother Nature and quickly reliased that everything is a cycle. That decaying plant life creates more carbon than cars and industry, but! but that does not mean we should make mother nature’s job more difficult by continuing spewing wasteful practices.
      Carbon credits I believe is the end game to this global warming fiasco. Another way to squeeze what little monies the average citizen has laying around.
      If governments truly are concerned about global warming why, WHY are they funding the creation of more bridges and freeways and not more public transit?
      If campbell is so CONCERNED with the environment why is he ramming through gas drilling and run of river projects without conducting enviro studies?
      No, I suspect it is all about transferring monies from the citizens to industry.

      Like

      1. Laila

        Bingo.

        I suspect with all the money that has gone in and out of this industry, we could have reformed transit in the lower mainland, perhaps done the light rail system many of us advocate for the fraser valley, and as you said, if Campbell was so concerned with the environment, he would not be thinking oil and gas exploration, which is as far from anything green as I can imagine.
        As for Trumpy, shall we play a game? How many organizations has he been with in his career? Anyone care to see?

        This Pacific Carbon Trust really needs a full public review and investigation. How the hell could they be in business for two years, and only start requiring accreditation of those un-named and mysterious validation and verification bodies July 1st of this year? That is insane.

        On the other hand, I have a rather nice garden going this year, featuring evergreens and perennials that produce a lot of oxygen . Maybe I can squeeze in a verification before the 1st and sell them some carbon offsets ???

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    2. SB

      Another way to pad friends pocketbooks in BC Lib world as soon as Trumpy is involved we know its a payback for Campbell- remember Trumpy was last responsible for BC Ambulance service and he did wonders there. he serves Campbells wants and thats all. cant wait for recall

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    3. Kim

      Excellent peice Laila! I share all of your opinions expressed here. My Dad was 4th generation logger in the family in Muir creek. It must be the age we grew up in, when the community benefits of the logging industry were long gone, the old growth all but disappeared, the birth of the environmental movement in BC. I grew up with much ambivalence towards the industry that was what made it possible to live in paradise , but it was in the 80’s that Dad started getting really pissed with these new corporate bosses.
      Suddenly it was 24 hr shifts, production before safety, quietly tear up the community contracts, contract out replanting contracts…..

      The carbon offset scam is a licence to conduct business as usual for big polluters, and an excuse to create another money laundering opportunity, for the I Donated $50,000 Plus Club. And the regular working citizen, or should I say Consumer, to foot the bill. This has the added benefit of reducing the spare time for the Consumer to think about the state of democracy in this plutocratic state.

      Thanks Laila, I hereby conclude this rant.

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    4. Kim

      Okay I lied. One more point. The worst part is, we are paying through additional taxation to schools and other public institutions who are the supposed targets of this taxation. At the same time, it allows them to pretend to make the case that further privatization is needed to sustain our unsustainable public institutions. It’s pure unadulterated evil!

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      1. Laila

        Well said,Kim, well said. I agree that we are likely a product of the environment we grew up in. I played in the forest, spent days catching tadpoles and salamanders in the local creek and pond, and spent winters snowmobiling the backwoods, which at that time, were un-touched by either man or beetle.

        My father has also seen large changes in the way the industry works. He works in a pulpmill, and now Canfor values production far more than safety. It used to be everyone had a trade, and was valued for the experience their years of work brought to the company. Then someone decided there were too many workers, and it would be better for the welders to learn all the other trades as well, and vice-versa. Sure, there may have been some money saved somewhere, but the safety and quality went downhill fast. Would you want to be 40 feet off the ground on a scaffold some newbie built, or someone who had been doing it their whole life?

        As I mentioned, and you repeat, these offsets seem to be dubious at best. How about some hard, REAL protocols targeted at those who are the worst offenders? Rather than targetting school kids, who are held hostage because Campbells Green Dream states the schools should pay for someone elses sins….

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    5. Kim

      “Would you want to be 40 feet off the ground on a scaffold some newbie built, or someone who had been doing it their whole life?”

      Exactly the reason Dad retired early, not to mention how mangled his poor body had become. He just could not stand the thought of running the tower when the (smaller, younger, read green) crew didn’t even understand the signals, scurried across the hillside below, setting chokers. He couldn’t bear the thought of being the one to kill such an inexperienced person. Shortly after he retired, he left the island in disgust with what was happenning here and moved to the Cariboo.

      Must be father’s day coming, hey? LOL.

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    6. anonymous

      To be honest, I had to read this twice and go back over to those links, because the excerpts are so vaguely written that it seems like the government is trying to get us all more confused!

      I'[m kinda wondering how this is still going on, when the global warming idea is pretty much a done deal. I get the idea of offsets, but in reality it seems like a bit of a joke.

      While we are after the HST, we should write letters to the papers about this offset crapola too, because I think those tax dollars should be going somwhere else.

      Like

    7. Deb.

      I like the way you did this post, and am glad to see at last that someone is taking notice of this.

      I have a lot of questions too, like did James Tansey go to Campbell with his idea, back when he was still the executive director of the centre of sustainability and social innovation at the Sauder School of business? Because I remember seeing something about that centre supporting his companies efforts in one of their annual reports and it came across like Wow, you are supporting your own efforts? LOL. Like, did he go to the premier and convince him that this offset business was the way to go, and advise him, therefore directing all the profits into his own pocket in the end?

      I think you should dig even deeper on this one.

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    8. Anonymous

      God damn, now that’s what I call some Friday government BAD NEWS! haha!

      way to hit one out of the ball park, and having the balls to do it. I’m sick of everyone jumping on every little thing because it’s more politically correct to go with the flow than it is to speak your mind. There may be an inkling of a good idea in this whole scam, but it got lost before it even started.

      HAve yourself a jolly good weekend!

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    9. workforfun

      I am going to take the dumb approach here – first though, I agree with pretty much everything you say Laila. I still don’t fully understand the carbon offsets. However, let me share something which will explain a little better. where I am coming from.

      I grew up in London and when I was a kid, we had those eye watering pea soup fogs fairly regularly, during winter months. The city kept going just, but most people walked part of the way home – the lucky ones were able to use the tube (subway).

      Now, in 2005 we purchased 150 acres of previously logged land (1980) to retire on, which is now mostly treed and in some areas, the cottonwood is a nuisance. To get anywhere I have to drive – no public transport and no amentities. However, the property is nice and my nearest neighboour about 1/2 mile away. We have a lot of wild life visit throughout the year.

      Here is the rub, SCampbell in his wisdom, has penalized everyone who drives and who is not able to use public transit – with the increasing carbon tax. Nothing given or credited to those people living in rural settings. So again, SSCampbell with his pea sized brain, has judged everyone on his own actions – probably thinking his reasons are right.

      I have 150 acres of trees giving off loads of oxygen only to have some arsehole selling it – come on! I know this is not how it works, but that is what I see. Absolutely no credit for anyone that has property where plants and trees are left to regrow pretty well undisturbed – except for some rudimentry maintenance.

      It does not matter what SCampbell does, he manages to screw everything up and make his friends rich ion the process. This has to be illegal – it certainly is immoral.

      So we are back to square one – what are we gonna do about Gordon (screw’em) Campbell ??

      Sorry, just had to get it off my chest and I promise to go read the links you provided.

      Thanks

      worforfun

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    10. It is all smoke and mirrors that will make someone money out of nothing, just like the sub-prime mortgage game did for a while. How can we take this Carbon Offsetting Program by the Provincial Government seriously when they are pushing through projects like the South Fraser Freeway and the Gateway freeway projects that will result in net increases of Green house gas emissions.

      To be fair to the schools, the Ministry of Transportation needs be legislated into making these freeway projects carbon neutral.

      But doubt it will happen and Shirley Bond will go on her merry way with this project that is totally carbon creating, but also damages Burns Bog, one of the lower Mainlands natural carbon sinks (a genuine carbon offsetting ecosystem).

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    11. Drew Chisholm

      Here is the 1st and last paragraph from an article from Harper’s magazine on this topic. It was in their Feb. 2010 issue. You both hit the nail on the head.

      “Conning the climate:
      Inside the carbon-trading shell game”
      By Mark Schapiro
      Mark Schapiro is the senior correspondent at the Center for Investigative Reporting in Berkeley, California, and the author of Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power. His last article for Harper’s Magazine, “Toxic Inaction,” appeared in the October 2007 issue.
      “No, it’s not abstract, up there in the clouds!” exclaimed Talita Beck. “I can see it. I can measure it.” We were talking about carbon emissions; Beck is an emissions assessor, a profession that did not exist a decade ago. Several times a month, she leaves her office in São Paulo, Brazil, in search of greenhouse gases—or, more precisely, to visit sites that have promised to emit less of them. Such commitments, whether made by malodorous pig farms, squalid city dumps, or rural sugarcane-processing mills, can be transformed into money by companies thousands of miles away, in Britain or Germany or Japan or any other country that has ratified the Kyoto Protocols.

      Indeed, carbon exists as a commodity only through the decisions of politicians and bureaucrats, who determine both the demand, by setting emissions limits, and the supply, by establishing criteria for offsets. It was the United States that sculpted the cap-and-trade system during the Kyoto negotiations, before pulling out of the accord and leaving the rest of the world to implement the scheme. Since then, most of the world’s major political, financial, and environmental interests have aligned themselves with the idea, because of its potential to generate profits out of adversity and to avoid the difficult economic decisions posed by climate change. Now the Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress—along with most American companies, which see cap-and-trade as the friendliest regulation they could hope for—want to rejoin the world and multiply the market. That market is, in essence, an elaborate shell game, a disappearing act that nicely serves the immediate interests of the world’s governments but fails to meet the challenges of our looming environmental crisis.”

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    12. Lynn, on June 18, 2010 at 10:35 am Said:
      I too am mindful of how I consume. I turn off lights when they are not needed. I reduce, reuse, rethink everything I touch.
      ——————————————————————-
      I have also done as you Lynn, but I really think its inconsequential, simply because its an effort in-futility , take for example a person lives on 30th floor high rise, decides to head out for a coffee at the local Mic+ Mac, hits the elevator button which is sitting waiting with lights on at the1st floor , the elevator comes up 30 floors and then back down 30 floors, lights on continuously. hes the lone occupant. Electricity is required to drive the motors.
      This scenario goes on day in and day-out in those buildings.
      The same goes for water usage in these buildings every time a toilet is flushed or tap turned on, a electric driven pump kicks in to lift this water.
      In order for you and me to conserve enough power to make up for this waste of energy, we will both have worn out our light switchs, which in turn will require more energy to replace and install. These are only two of many examples of energy waste. Were pissing into the wind.

      Like

    13. Laila

      Sorry for missing the conversation everyone, but that sun was too nice to be indoors yesterday, and I spent the day out again today, enjoying the area from White Rock, to Crescent Beach, to Langley! The salmon berries are ripe everywhere and the cherry trees are starting to ripen as well. One word : Yummy!

      Replies, starting with

      Anonymous #1- This is a very confusing issue for a lot of people ,but I felt I had to try and make it somewhat understandable, because this crown corporation started up with a hell of a lot of our tax dollars, seems to have had no real guidance or any kind of set standards, which raises a lot of ?? for me, and I hope, for others.

      Deb – Thanks for the kind words, I don’t know what or if there was a previous relationship with Campbell and Tansey, but you raise some interesting questions considering how much money is headed to Offsetters from the government. I’ll be sure to look deeper into that, and see what I can find out. Thanks for stopping by!

      Anonymous #2- Didn’t plan for it to be a bad news Friday story, but that definately got a chuckle from me, reading your comment..lol. Perhaps I should have posted it Monday, just to get more mileage out of it!

      workforfun –

      I hear you. And please don’t say sorry for getting that off your chest! My family still all live up north, and it is the same for them- they have to drive everywhere, and they also NEED to drive large 4X4 trucks to do the work that needs to be done, and to handle the winter driving conditions. Transit doesn’t even come close to my dad’s place, and in other areas outside PG it runs on a horrid schedule, making it unusable to most people that have jobs.

      No one is profiting from your land, or your trees. There are specific projects and companies that can sell to the crown corporation and someone allegedly verifies the credibility and amount of offsets. The only problem is that ( from what I can tell) there is no standard or accreditation for either the offsets or the people who are supposed to be overseeing the whole deal. Reeks of another government mismanagement.

      On another note, those cottonwoods can be pesky when the sticky buds come off and the wool is flying everywhere, can’t they? Not to mention the high internal rot rate that makes them occasionally very dangerous to have around homes and outbuildings.

      Bernadette- as usual, nice to read your comment! I agree, and you have really mentioned something that bears repeating. That Burns bog is a genuine natural carbon offsetting ecosystem, and that if these areas were preserved and saved for the tremendous value they have for urban dwellers, perhaps that would be the correct direction.

      I think it is absolutely insane for the schools to have to buy offsets, considering the old portables the are using. Kind of like getting punished twice-once for being forced to pay for the buildings, then again for the offsets because they are so crappy!

      Drew-

      Excellent reference there! Thank you for that.

      It frustrates me that they intentionally make this so untouchable for people like you and I, in terms of understanding how it all works. What we need to remember is that, as Bernadette mentioned, it is all smoke and mirrors, because really, there isn’t anything there to force the polluters to stop polluting in the first place, and that offsets are nothing more than a created commodity and industry that bears little on the way industry still does business.

      Great comment Drew, and very appreciated. Overall , I hope more people try and understand this whole offset business, because the more we ask questions and demand answers for what the hell this crown corporation is up to, the less they can get away with – I hope!

      Hi Henri-Paul, it’s been a while, so nice to read your wit on these pages again!

      I hear you, and you know what, you are right- to a point.

      I get what you are saying, and maybe it only makes us feel better to do these things, but in the end, we have to be the change we wish to see in the world, right? There is a reason that quote has become famous.

      I believe it starts at home, which is part of why I blog and research and investigate. I wish more of us would.

      Like

    14. Drew Chisholm

      I’m sorry I’m not giving you the address of the article but you must be a subscriber to enter. You could go to the library and read it if they have it. The article is great. It is the best description I have read about this scheme.
      In their latest edition, a writer describes the “market forces” involved in food futures market. It explains how investors play the market for food products, like wheat. It may cause people to go hungry but what the heck, the investors made some money, lots of it, and that is good? Check the price of a bag of flour over the last few years to see how they did. If they were in BC, I’m sure there would be no HST on the transactions.

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    15. Laila, on June 20, 2010 at 7:54 pm Said:On another note, those cottonwoods can be pesky when the sticky buds come off and the wool is flying everywhere, can’t they? Not to mention the high internal rot rate that makes them occasionally very dangerous to have around homes and outbuildings.
      ———————————————————————
      Years back on a hot day, I parked my car under a huge shade tree, not paying any particular attention to the tree. I was parked there for about 4 hrs.
      When I returned to the car I paid no real attention to the husk laying all over my vehicle, thinking they’ll blow off once I start moving, they didn’t, thats when I should have paid more attention to those husk.Got home parked for the night, next day when I went out to my car it was still cover in these husk, in addition there were stains all over the car,there was this terrible sticky liquidity mess all over. The cotton wood tree I had parked under had oozed sap all over the car, then the husk from the cotton fluff fell and had glued themselves to the car. The paint job never did fully recover from this attack. Who to blame?The wobbly pop of course for having consumed my time ,while the cotton wood tree was defecateing all over my car…..
      Hope things are going better for you Laila…….

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      1. Laila

        : ) Hahaha!!! Ohmygosh..I laughed so hard reading that Henri, because I totally know all about that !! The acreage I grew up on had two large clusters of Cottonwooods- each had about 2 or three trunks altogether – and my dad unknowingly hung the clothesline in between the two stands since it was the perfect distance.

        It was all good since that was later in the year, and the clothes were great all through the late summer and fall.

        I’ll never forget the day the following spring though, when my mother went out to get the clothing in off the line – and everything was all covered in the sticky husks you’ve referred to, which for anyone not familiar, stick like concrete and leave a resinous,greenish yellow stain on whatever they land on, like pine sap.

        Let’s just say my dad wasn’t very popular for a while..lol.. you brought back a lot of memories there Henri!!

        And yes, things are going much better. I should be back to blogging regularly shortly. ( thank you for asking 😉

        Drew, no worries, and I think I will. I never realised what a scheme this was until I really started “getting” it all. What became such a sticking point is that the provinces methods are completely suspect when I think they have been using completely unaccredited validation and verification people for the last two years, and these are the people that make sure everything is on the up and up !!! Oddly enough, they are only beginning the accreditation standard, starting July 1st…. and it doesn’t even tell us who is in charge of handing out accreditation.

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    16. Laila

      Thank you for pointing that information out in particular RoKeSc ! It was contained in the save our rivers link, but I am glad that you have brought it out for attention, because their mandate is the only way that they can sustain that crown corporation.

      It would appear that the bloody Pacific Carbon Trust is holding everyone hostage, sanctioned by the premier and endorsed by all Liberals.

      One would think in these ‘ tough economic times’, that they could appreciate people needing to save a buck, and let them buy the offsets elsewhere? But then again, we go back to ensuring that crown corporation stays in business.

      Highway robbery at it’s finest and most refined.

      Like

    17. Pingback: Meanwhile up in the Arctic… | No Strings Attached : Laila Yuile on politics and life in B.C.

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