Going Forward to the Past

My BS detectors start clanging loudly when I hear the phrase “going forward.” The clanging tells me that the speaker is trying to sound knowledgeable by using obfuscation.

The growing industry centred on carbon footprints and carbon credits is attracting the Going Forwarders in droves – the same sorts who told us that floating the dollar well-ahead of the rest of the world was a good idea. Once we’d done it, they stuffed their pockets with the percentages that they’d clipped from the dollars as they passed through their “value-added” hands and headed for the hills.

They are the modern version of the snake oil sellers that have been with us since Adam was a pup. They just keep relabelling the snake oil and move on quickly before we open the package. In recent years they’ve dabbled in time-shares and pork bellies and their latest guise is carbon traders, dealing in carbon credits and twaddling on about carbon footprints. I haven’t seen a carbon footprint, and wonder whether it’s jet black and dusty, with five perfectly formed toes. As for the carbon credits, I wonder whether they will be printed in jet black ink on little notes issued by the Bank of Doom and Gloom.

With the supporters of global warming frantically rebranding themselves under the nicer-sounding climate change banner, the jury is still out on the root cause of the climatic changes that we are experiencing. So far, it’s largely a political matter with half-baked politicians pushing various barrows. Surely it’s a bit premature to be talking about selling carbon credits before the real cause of climate change is determined.

The concept of man-made global warming could be the biggest hoax since Elvis died (I happen to know that he was abducted by aliens from the planet Pengoon who wanted him for their museum of famous musicians) and landing on the Moon. In the latter case, we’ve all seen the flag twitch when Billy the gopher came back from Ma Denton’s Takeout with chicken and fries for lunch and let a puff of hot Nevada air onto the movie set at the wrong moment. Excuse me while I adjust my magnets and pop another carbon-neutral pill.

Rather than supporting this fake industry, we should be focussing on more practical measures that actually improve our environment. Recycling more materials, insulating houses, reducing water wastage, using electricity more efficiently, and making the use of solar energy more affordable. These are all tangible things that we can touch and do.

Carbon credit trading simply panders to a select group who have created a new brand of snake oil, allowing them to line their pockets for doing nothing. It also encourages the public to buy a credit for the feel-good factor whilst merrily consuming more. If the planet really is heading toward a melt-down, then we are going to look really silly when everything goes BANG as we sit surrounded by piles of toys on our mattresses stuffed with carbon credits. I suppose the carbon traders are hoping they’ll have made enough loot from their commissions to have terraformed Mars so that they can watch from a safe distance as the rest of us plunge headlong down the gurgler.

With the log-jam of Going Forwarders trying to cram aboard the carbon gravy train, the whole issue seems to have abruptly moved down several layers. During a discussion on Radio New Zealand National this morning, it was even postulated that individuals might soon see the benefit of buying carbon credits. Oh great. Income tax, Goods and Services Tax, petrol tax, rates and now carbon credits all of which disappear into the slosh-pot known as The Consolidated Fund – less the nibblings of parasitic hangers-on, of course.

Yippee! Just what we need. Yet another tax presumably outsourced to the private sector frantically polishing seats as they clip the credits passing through their hands. BOHICA. We’re Going Forward to the Past.

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