It used to be that pharmaceuticals were one of the biggest profiteering frauds in the global market (besides warmongering). But "climate change," and the ever-present fear of it, has created a whole new market for carbon dioxide "trading," that analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon say is now worth $53 billion worldwide.
The value of global markets for carbon dioxide, says the group, rose by about nine percent last year, bringing the total to just shy of 50 billion euros. And this amount is expected to climb even further in 2016, as the United States and other North American countries are forced into the new "global warming" paradigm of carbon taxes and credits.
North America is precisely where the biggest gains in CO2 value were seen in 2015, rising an astounding 220 percent to about 10.6 billion euros compared to 2014. This is due to the massive expansion of the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) scheme, which now covers transportation fuel emissions.
Also known as "cap-and-trade," the scheme involves government-mandated use and emissions restrictions for CO2, a concept that stems from the idea that carbon dioxide is somehow responsible for a disastrous situation known as "climate change." But rather than focus on the worst climate offenders – which include factory farming, confined animal feeding operations and industrial chemicals – cap-and-trade initiatives are targeting everyday consumers.
The program has also been accused of making climate conditions worse, due to the fact that it's routinely abused as a way for corrupt entities to make money, while doing little to curb environmental pollution. We've been saying this all along – that, and the fact that carbon is good for the environment, when properly sequestered in soils where it should be.
According to a report by the Stockholm Environment Institute, carbon credit schemes in Europe have already led to an increase in emissions of about 600 million tons. Particularly in Russia and the Ukraine, companies intentionally generated more "climate warming" chemicals, so that they could then "destroy" them in order to claim carbon credit cash.
Cap-and-trade should also make people immediately think of Enron, the now-defunct energy company that just so happens to have been one of the first major traders in carbon credits. This commodity exchange, explains the report, allowed Enron's stock prices to rise to unrealistic levels very quickly, which in turn eventually led to the company's failure, along with the collapse of the coal industry.
"We were surprised ourselves by the extent [of the fraud]; we didn't expect such a large number," stated one of the co-authors of the paper, Anja Kollmuss, to BBC News. "What went on was that these countries could approve these projects by themselves [since] there was no international oversight, in particular Russia and the Ukraine didn't have any incentive to guarantee the quality of these credits."
And yet, the carbon credit market continues to boom, despite mounds of evidence showing that it doesn't work and has no, or only negative, effects on the overall amount of emissions released into the atmosphere. It's no better than any of the other commodities scams we've seen over the years, that basically invite fraudulent activity.