This story encapsulates so much of what is wrong with the green movement. A forest in California was purchased several years ago by an environmental group, Conservation Fund, with the state providing $50 million of the $66.5 million purchase price in bond money and loans.
PG&E customers who want to assuage their carbon guilt can participate in their ClimateSmart program where they pay PG&E extra money to save a tree. But apparently PG&E is using these funds to purchase the trees that were in theory already saved by Conservation Fund. Hmmm… No chance any fraud or abuse exists with that program.
If paying to save the same trees twice weren’t bad enough, it turns out these trees aren’t so protected after all. The Conservation Fund has gone into the logging business! The SFGate reports:
“The land is not just sitting idle. In 2004, the Conservation Fund, which is based in Arlington, Va., convinced the state that the forest should become a pilot project that not only would restore and conserve the forests but also make a little money. It is allowed to log and harvest the redwoods on the property in an environmentally friendly way and sell the timber commercially.”
I guess as long as you grease your chain saws with Orange Oil, you have permission from the environmental deities to harvest the forest. So to recap, a crapload of state money is used to “save” a forest, which really isn’t saved at all unless taxpayers pay more money in carbon offsets to save the same trees. Another top-notch argument for small government.
There’s a joke somewhere in there about not seeing the forest for the trees, but I’m too ticked off to find it.