March 22, 2010
Today in the Sunday Telegraph my colleague Christopher Booker breaks possibly the most important environmental story since Climategate: a devious plan, truly Blofeldian in its scope and menace, by a hard-left-leaning activist body to gain massive global political leverage and earn stupendous sums of money by exploiting and manipulating the world carbon trading market.
My cynical prediction is that this vitally important story will gain little traction in the wider media, especially not with organisations like the BBC. Why? Because the activist body in question has a lovely, cuddly panda as its motif, and a reputation – brainwashed into children from an early age – for truly caring about the state of our planet. What’s more, this latest campaign by the WWF (formerly the World Wildlife Fund) is very easy to spin as something unimpeachably noble and right. After all, what kind of fascistic, Gaia-hating sicko would you have to be NOT to applaud a delightful heartwarming scheme to buy up whole swathes of the beauteous, diversity-rich, Na’avi-style, Truffula-tree dotted Amazon rainforest to preserve it for all time from the depredations of evil loggers, cattleranchers and other such profiteering scum?
Hence the understandably cautious tone in Booker’s opening par:
If the world’s largest, richest environmental campaigning group, the WWF – formerly the World Wildlife Fund – announced that it was playing a leading role in a scheme to preserve an area of the Amazon rainforest twice the size of Switzerland, many people might applaud, thinking this was just the kind of cause the WWF was set up to promote. Amazonia has long been near the top of the list of the world’s environmental cconcerns, not just because it includes easily the largest and most bio-diverse area of rainforest on the planet, but because its billions of trees contain the world’s largest land-based store of CO2 – so any serious threat to the forest can be portrayed as a major contributor to global warming.
Only after this nod to fashionable concerns is Booker able to stick in the knife:
If it then emerged, however, that a hidden agenda of the scheme to preserve this chunk of the forest was to allow the WWF and its partners to share the selling of carbon credits worth $60 billion, to enable firms in the industrial world to carry on emitting CO2 just as before, more than a few eyebrows might be raised. The idea is that credits representing the CO2 locked into this particular area of jungle – so remote that it is not under any threat – should be sold on the international market, allowing thousands of companies in the developed world to buy their way out of having to restrict their carbon emissions. The net effect would simply be to make the WWF and its partners much richer while making no contribution to lowering overall CO2 emissions.
This article was posted: Monday, March 22, 2010 at 5:08 am