A Farmer’s View On Carbon Credits

By | April 14, 2009

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[Illustrations, footnotes and references available in PDF version]   

I have changed my mind about participating in the carbon credit program. And have resolved to give the money I received to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Here is why.
Recently I sat in the fire hall with a few dozen farmers. We had been invited to hear how we can get paid for carbon credits.
The speaker explained how their satellites can measure the carbon in our land individually and how much money we could get. Then asked for questions.
I asked “what is the source of this money”?
The presenter said it comes from big companies that pollute.
I asked “where do they get this money”? He had no answer.
So I answered for him, asking, “won’t it come from everyone who pays their power bill”? He then agreed and said “that could be”.
I then said isn’t this about the theory of man made global warming? He said “we are not going to talk about that”. Here they are on the prairie soliciting land for carbon credits tempting us with free money.
I believe that agreeing to take their money means you agree with taxing cattle gas also, because methane is a greenhouse gas 20 times more powerful than carbon. I believe taking this money without considering its source makes us no better than the bankers who lent money to people, knowing they could not pay it back. Collecting their fees then selling the bad loans in bundles to someone else. They did not care where the money came from either.
Let’s be clear.
Carbon is not a new commodity! No new wealth is being created here! Is this the way we want to make a living? Let me ask you, what if their satellites determine that your land has lost carbon? You will get a bill, not a check, right? If you make a tillage pass you will get a bill for emitting carbon, is this not correct?
It is also a fact that this income will, in short order, get built into your land cost. You will keep very little and be left with the burden of another bureaucratic program.
Let’s be honest, we feel compelled to take this money because of the need to be competitive, however we also need to hold true to our values and lead by example that means placing our principals ahead of money.
No good citizen is opposed to using the earth’s resources wisely; however, wisdom means a person who has both intelligence and humility. In my view many of the proponents of man made global warming have the first and lack the second. We are able to exercise our freedom in this country because we have abundant, reliable and affordable power. It is ironic that we sat in front of the flag in that fire hall and considered trading our liberty for money.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Roy Disney:
“Decision making becomes easier when your values are clear to you.”