It will pay you not to grow crops.
By not tilling his 800 acres, Woollen by some estimates keeps 470 tons of carbon per year in the ground and out of the atmosphere. Because of that, Woollen gets carbon credits he can sell on the Chicago Climate Exchange. At first, neighboring farmers were skeptical. “They called me a tree-hugger,” Woollen said. “Then I showed them my first check.” Woollen gets about $3,000 a year from the climate exchange’s carbon-trading pilot program.Here is another head scratcher:
In the western Virginia town of Christiansburg, the operators of a landfill sell carbon offsets tied to a project that captures methane, a powerful greenhouse pollutant, and burn it in a tall orange flare. They've made $43,000 on the Chicago Climate Exchange in just a couple of months.The Chicago Climate Exchange trades in emissions of six gases: Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, perfluorocarbons and hydrofluorocarbons. I'm pretty sure that mixture is quite close to my own flare. Should I start lighting up?
But that project was put in long before the offsets were sold and for a different reason: to keep dangerous gases from accumulating in a capped landfill. So if the offset market dried up completely?
Nothing would change.
The money "is gravy to us right now," said Alan Cummins, executive director of the regional authority that runs the landfill. Even without it, he said, "we would always continue to flare."
The carbon-offset idea is founded on the notion that carbon emissions are greenhouse gasses which are related to current global warming -- a debunked hypothesis. Since there is no evidence for greenhouse caused global warming, the carbon-offset is really a carbon-rip-off-set.
Then, there was this gem. My buddy in Des Moines, Iowa, says his neighbor Ed received a check from the government for over $1,000 for not raising hogs. He thinks Ed is onto something and now my buddy wants to go into the "not raising hogs business" next year. He asks:
What I want to know is, what is the best kind of farm not to raise hogs on, and what is the best breed of hogs not to raise? I want to be sure that I approach this endeavor in keeping with all governmental policies. I would prefer not to raise razorbacks, but if that is not a good breed not to raise, then I will just as gladly not raise Yorkshires or Durocs.
As I see it, the hardest part of this program will be in keeping an accurate inventory of how many hogs I haven't raised.
If anyone has words of wisdom on not raising hogs, I'll put you in touch.
On a related note, I heard that Obama is trading in hogs.Conclusion: It is becoming insanely more and more profitable to not grow, not raise, not consume and not expend. Is this economic stimulus, Obama style?