April 7, 2004

Ecology done the right way

From Crumb Trail - Back40 writes about an interesting and direct way to cut emissions: bq. We hear the usual suspects whinging about proposals to implement a cap-and-trade system for reducing emissions - such as mercury from coal fired power plants - even though it is a proven method that has had great success in reducing acid rain from sulfur dioxide emissions. They obfuscate and try to further delay the system because it is of value to them as a political wedge issue, something far more important to them than environmental health. And an example of one group that did a direct action and not a political one - from an article in Wired Magazine: bq. Last month, students at the Lewiston, Maine, college bid on -- and won -- the rights to pollute the environment with nine tons of sulfur dioxide at an auction sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency. They then proceeded to retire those rights, effectively keeping that sulfur dioxide from falling on Maine, or anywhere else, in the form of acid rain. Back40 finishes up with the comment: bq. What a fine way to vote with wallets, to truly express values and desires. It's one thing to force someone else to sacrifice for your values, and another to make the sacrifice yourself. It is fair and immediate so long as the systems are in place. Individuals and groups can directly express their values and make a difference in society far beyond their impact as advocates and participants in political systems. Even the smallest and poorest can have a direct effect. Rather than giving your money from the bake sale to a politician to squander on media time use it more wisely in a targeted way. It's what investors call a pure play. This is very cool - the Wired article goes into a bit more detail. It used to cost about $80 for one ton of SO2 but it is now more like $320. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) is the prime cause of Acid Rain. The professor at the College has set up a non-profit fund -- The Acid Rain Retirement Fund -- to buy these permits and they now own 92 tons of SO2 emissions. This sort of Environmentalism I really like - it is based on hard facts, takes the long view, is compatible with our present lifestyle and business operations and we aren't trying to implement a 9th Century lifestyle on anyone. -- BUT -- Good and tangible work is being done. Quietly. Without any grandstanding and minimal administrative costs. Very cool! Posted by DaveH at April 7, 2004 10:06 PM