June 21, 2005

Pollution Credits, Well Not Quite.

“So long to gas guzzler guilt” claims a company called TerraPass, that will let you buy “pollution credits” --- the more the pollute the more credits you'd need, or if you are at or below a certain standard you wouldn't need any. The money raised from the credits is used to promote less polluting power, etc. In essence this "balances out" the pollution.

Ironically, it hasn't been very popular with SUV drivers:

Not surprisingly, few SUV drivers have been buying them. Most have gone to owners of fuel-efficient cars that produce relatively few pollutants. That initially surprised Arnold. "We fully expected to target SUV drivers with SUV guilt," he said. "It just doesn't exist"

Instead, he's been travelling to environmental fairs pitching the idea to those who, for the most part, drive fuel efficient small cars and gas/electric hybrid vehicles. "Environmentalists have a very conflicted relationship with their cars," said Arnold.

First off --- funny how the writer says “Not surprisingly” --- yet in regards to the person that is being interviewed (just one sentence later) “That initially surprised Arnold.” Apparently according to the author, SUV owners really are evil, and I guess it’s “not surprising.” Of course, pretty much only extreme environmentalists are so brainwashed they actually feel guilty for driving at all.

However if this functioned like real “pollution credits” it might actually have an impact. A real “pollution credit” system functions by companies that pollute less selling their credits to more polluting companies. This has the same balancing effect --- but the companies are encouraged to participate since they can actually can buy and sell something, not just throw their money into to coffers of some random company that promises to ‘save the earth.’

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