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RE: [greenyes] Sticker Shock

Couple of responses to this thread:

1) If you believe carbon markets are squishy, then the purchases of credits, no matter by whom, will not put pressure on the markets to reduce carbon emissions. That's because new sources of carbon (or other GHGs) are not tightly-enough measured or controlled, and new uncaptured emissions act in the same way currency counterfeiting does on money supply. You have inflation, and each dollar (carbon credit) becomes worth less. I personally think this is a significant problem, especially in the early stages of the market, and with any international trades. This squishiness (perhaps with both a technical measurement attribute and some belief that maybe carbon trading won't really become a requirement) may be one reason that the trade prices seem low to observers.

2) If you believe that carbon markets are now, or soon will be, real markets, one should be promoting as many people who are outside the mandatory caps system to buy credits. They could be Hummer owners or astrologists who want to own their own piece of the atmosphere for all I care. This simply accelerates the pressure on those who within the caps. Hummers are symbolic of waste, but in terms of aggregate emissions may be more benign than a host of other less visible sources. Subsidies to convert dirty waste coal piles in PA to electricity comes to mind here. There are probably thousands of similar examples around the country.

3) Chris mentions nuclear power plants and their "carbon funds." The obvious question should be why nuke plants have such a thing. They don't emit carbon (OK, well aside from mining, transport, and enrichment of uranium and waste), and therefore should get no allocated credits at the initiation of carbon trading. Rather, they benefit from the fact that their competitors (fossil fuel plants) must now pay for something that used to be free. While the nuke industry paints these credits as the only equitable way to go, this is a crock. Granting them carbon credits is simply giving them a windfall subsidy.

-Doug Koplow

Doug Koplow
Earth Track, Inc.
2067 Massachusetts Avenue - 4th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02140
Tel: 617/661-4700
Fax: 617/354-0463

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>>> "Christopher Cloutier" <ccloutier@no.address> 04/12/05 04:33PM >>>
While Peter's sentiments are admirable, it is hard to see how these things
"should be stopped". Bans? Shame? How do we stop these things? This genie has
been let out of the bottle a long-time ago. Absent a command-and-control
environmental regime that seems politically unthinkable in the current
climate, how does such stopping happen?

There are clear market forces at work now that indicate the car market is
changing - Prius sales up over 120% same month last year, 18 month waiting
list for the same, 12 month waiting list for new Toyota hybrid SUV, 15 months
for Lexus hybrid SUV, SUV's unable to sell off the lot or used, SUV used
listings way up from three months ago - and changing in ways that are
encouraging. It seems gas has finally reached the point at which it begins to
affect lifestyle and vehicle choices.

GHG-trading as a scheme to fund efficiency efforts is also growing. MA has a
program that allows retailers of efficient products to accrue and sell
credits, many nuclear utilities are investing their "carbon funds" into
efficiency measures to gather, and then sell, GHG credits. In what is
increasingly a world that is more decentralized and predicated upon
open-source principles, bringing that opportunity to the individual seems to
make sense.

My biggest concern is that the price for the SUV owners are being charged for
this externality seems too low. Wouldn't we rather see these SUV owners pay
something for what they owe? After all, there is no evidence that this is
helping increase SUV sales.

Chris Cloutier
D&R International
1684 Selby Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55104
651.644.4989 (f)

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Anderson [mailto:anderson@no.address]
Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2005 3:21 PM
To: Eric Lombardi; 'Jenny Gitlitz'; 'greenyes'
Subject: Re: [greenyes] Sticker Shock

Gosh I didn't think this was going to get so much back and forths, but I
strongly disagree with Jenny. Let me explain why I feel this way.

The difference is that there are some things that we do that are part of the
base environmental cost of living/doing business, then there are others that
are outside the pale of venality/stupidity...SUV Hummers being only the most
graphic example. By definiiton in a strategic sense, the latter are things
that should be stopped and not ameliorated. Damping something that never
should have been done in the first place is never better than pushing to
stop it.

Here we are, then, if this is not laughed out of the ball park, on the cusp
of SUV owners finally about to feel the pain of stigma for their outrageous
choice, and someone is going to hand them a get of of jail/guilt card.

That's the very last thing we want to do...combined with the fact that, if
we want to get techie, there is a very BIG difference between e.g. the SO2
trading for acid rain, which is looked to as showing how good trading is,
and carbon trading around the world. The utilities were all in this
country, their emissions were localized in a few very large and highly
regulated plants, and things could be checked and verified to make sure
intentions were followed by real actions....carbon trading shares none of
that and is VERY squishy.

We're on the path to being horseswaggled and trivialized, so that we will
effectively be doing very little, while essentially accomplishing nothing,
yet feeling santimonious as we march off to our own funeral. The thought
turns my stomach.

If our fate is confined to twittering around the edges of 5 ton SUV hyrbrids
with cutsie bumper stickers, we might as well close up shop now.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Eric Lombardi" <eric@no.address>
To: "'Jenny Gitlitz'" <jenny.gitlitz@no.address>; "'greenyes'"
Cc: "'Peter Anderson'" <anderson@no.address>
Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2005 3:09 PM
Subject: RE: [greenyes] Sticker Shock


That's what my first thought was ... it's just a carbon-trading (CT) scheme
for individuals, similar in many ways to allowing the dirty power plants to
keep on running. If it's good for them, why not us? Then again, some
people think carbon-trading isn't good. I guess I would say that CT is OK
only if it's used as a "bridge" that allows sunk investments to recovered
and requires a timeline for old tech to retire and new tech to come on-line.


Eric Lombardi
Executive Director
Eco-Cycle Inc

-----Original Message-----
From: Jenny Gitlitz [mailto:jenny.gitlitz@no.address]
Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2005 1:49 PM
To: greenyes
Cc: Peter Anderson
Subject: Re: [greenyes] Sticker Shock

How is this any different from other GHG market trading mechanisms? That it
targets the wallets of individual drivers instead of corporate power plant

Yes, it sounds ridiculous for Hummer owners to buy these stickers to appease
their guzzling guilt, but for many of us who are stuck driving 10-year old
cars because we can't afford the $22,000 sticker price of a Toyota
Prius--much as we'd like to buy one--this low-cost sticker program might be
one small way for us to encourage a few small-scale alternative energy

The question is, does the bumper sticker scheme somehow detract from
national efforts to raise CAFÉ standards or implement other broad
conservation policies?


Jennifer Gitlitz
Research Director, Container Recycling Institute

Home Office:
2 Pomeroy Ave.
Dalton, MA 01226
Tel. (413) 684-4746
Mobile: (413) 822-0115
Fax: (413) 403-0233
Email: jgitlitz@no.address

Please note the new address for CRI¹s main office:
Container Recycling Institute
1601 North Kent St., Suite 803
Arlington, VA 22209-2105
Tel. (703) 276-9800
Fax: (703) 276-9587

On 4/12/05 1:34 PM, Peter Anderson at anderson@no.address wrote:

> Honk If You Love Your SUV
> Pricey bumper stickers give the owners of gas-guzzlers licence to drive,
> while still being friendly to the environment
> Saturday, April 9, 2005 Page A15
> WASHINGTON -- The United States may have withdrawn from the Kyoto
> but a Pennsylvania company says Americans can still fight carbon dioxide
> emissions without leaving home -- by paying as much as $80 for a bumper
> sticker.
> Benven LLC, run by a team of University of Pennsylvania graduate students,
> boasts that its bumper stickers take the equivalent of 350 cars off the
> for a year. Its product, the TerraPass, allows drivers to counteract their
> gas-guzzling cars' emissions by paying for clean-energy projects. In
> exchange, vehicle owners get a clean conscience and a one-year pass for
> their bumper that identifies the vehicle as pollution-free.
> "If you think of the rest of Americans, they want to be nice to the
> environment. But they want a vehicle to get around in," said Tom Arnold,
> company's chief operating officer. "With TerraPass, you can keep driving
> car and still be responsible."
> The passes sell for $30 to $80, depending on how much gas the vehicle
> For instance, it would take $80 to offset a Hummer's annual emissions, Mr.
> Arnold said.
> TerraPass pools the sales and funds clean-energy projects, such as
> in California and cow-manure digesters to control methane emissions. The
> Philadelphia-based company said that to date, it has "erased" 1.8 million
> kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions.
> TerraPass also buys credits on the Chicago Climate Exchange, a market for
> trading greenhouse-gas-emissions credits. TerraPass buys and retires them,
> helping to cover the costs of energy projects.
> About 450,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide credits have been purchased so
> far -- nearly $1,200 worth, the company said. Mr. Arnold said the company
> has spent more than $7,000 on emission-reduction projects in total.
> "...
> "...
> "...
> "...
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