Editorial: Is this just a con job?

February 12th, 201211:38 am @



WHEN the Emissions Trading Scheme kicks in next year it’s going to cost us more to dump rubbish.

The Timaru District Council will have to buy carbon credits to offset the carbon emissions the rubbish produces.

The reaction of many to this will be … unprintable.

Because it sounds like a con job.

And it may well be. So here are a few questions.

The council has been told a tonne of waste produces 1.1 tonnes of carbon. But how can that be? How can something that weighs a tonne, weigh more as it decomposes?

Or is that a silly question?

And, the rubbish I put in my red bin, like broken bricks and bits of concrete and old plastic, does it really decompose? And if it does, does it emit carbon?

Then there is the question of whether New Zealand should have adopted the ETS when so many of the real polluters in the world haven’t. We’re such a pimple at the bottom of the world – do we really have to be leaders in this?

And what if our council simply refused to pay? Would it be fined? Would the mayor or chief executive be locked up?

And what of the whole carbon credit system itself.

Who dreamt it up? Get this. There’s every chance we in Timaru could be buying our carbon credits from Russia, which has plenty of spare credits despite having some pretty nasty polluters. Its windfall is Siberia – a vast nothingness that suddenly has become worth plenty because of its vast nothingness – allowing Russia to invest in more industry, which in turn produces more pollution.

From which follows the next question.

How does the buying of carbon credits in Timaru reduce the amount of pollution produced here, or indeed the amount of pollution overall in the world?

And it’s here some concession is granted.

Individually the extra dump charges here might not be much – maybe $10 a year at the dearer end – but the extra charge alone might just make people think twice about what they put in their red bin. It will be a matter of principle.

And there are people around the world planting trees to earn credits, aren’t there? So that’s got to be a good thing.

But still, I don’t like how this is being forced on us. It doesn’t feel right.

At which point we arrive at the final question, which is: Does global warming really exist?

And I’m not even going to go there.

– © Fairfax NZ News

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Article source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/opinion/6396786/Editorial-Is-this-just-a-con-job