jump to navigation

Don’t Buy Hybrid… Buy Pollution! January 19, 2007

Posted by Dan in Must Read, News, Science.

 Olmedia 1310000 Images  1311190 Pollution300
I can’t put a number on the faces of people I know who think that, by driving a hybrid, they’re actually doing something to help the environment. The truth is, if you don’t factor in the additional manufacturing, usage of raw materials, or the premium you pay on top of pure gasoline models, you’re actually doing very little to stem the flow of pollution into the world around you.

What should you be doing with all that cash you spent on that bio-diesel conversion? Purchasing pollution! The most popular place is from the website TerraPass where you can enter in your car’s make and model and actually purchase from the “Pollution Market” an equivalent amount of CO2. But, you can buy as much as you want. They even have a section for purchasing pollution equivalent to your air-miles.

But, there is a catch. Right now, these purchasers are still relatively small compared to the massive corporations that usually buy pollution credits. So, the majority of your money wont actually go to buy up these credit. Some of it is paid in administrative costs, the expenses of running the business, but the majority actually goes towards investing in other “green” operations…. things like solar and wind power. In other words, your money isn’t exactly being wasted. And, one thing is for certain, those couple of thousand dollars you were going to spend on that Hybrid car will go much farther if donated towards a proper charity, or invested in ventures like TerraPass.

Here is Wikipedia’s entry for Pollution Market:

A Pollution Market is a method of partly internalizing the costs a negative externality (such as pollution) by setting up a government designated maximum amount of the specified activity and then auctioning or selling tradable permits to engage in some of the specified activity.

For example, in a fictional state, perhaps 100 units of industrial pollution will be permitted each year. 100 permits to pollute one unit each year will be sold/auctioned/lotteried to industries in the state. Each firm will compare the cost of buying more permits to pollute with the cost of making their factories pollute less. The firms that are easiest to reform for less pollution will do so, and sell their permits to the firms that have the greatest difficulty in achieiving low pollution. Firms which cannot reform the amount they pollute and are not productive enough to afford permits to pollute will go out of business, firms which develop pollution reduction technology will become more profitable. Only 100 units of pollution will be emitted during the year, with the least reduction of productivity overall.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,



No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: