Sometimes I like to point out that even if catastrophic global warming could be conclusively proven, it would not change one crucial political fact: Al Gore and the environmental left are the last people you would trust to solve the problem. This is a variation of my axiom that the environment is much too important to be left to environmentalists—they’ll just screw it up further and crush our liberties.
Case in point is a story in the New York Times last Wednesday that escaped my notice. (Hat tip: CR & SP.) Know how we always hear that we must tackle climate change to protect the dispossessed poor in the developing world? Well, it turns out that dispossessing the poor is what climate action is all about. The Times story looks at one of the trendy ideas in the authoritarian climate change orthodoxy, planting trees in developing nations so that you can sell “offset credits” in the phony carbon exchange markets that have been set up. Oxfam reports on how thousands of Africans have been forcibly evicted from their land, often violently, to make way for a tree plantation by some European company:
Across Africa, some of the world’s poorest people have been thrown off land to make way for foreign investors, often uprooting local farmers so that food can be grown on a commercial scale and shipped to richer countries overseas.
But in this case, the government and the company said the settlers were illegal and evicted for a good cause: to protect the environment and help fight global warming.
The case twists around an emerging multibillion-dollar market trading carbon-credits under the Kyoto Protocol, which contains mechanisms for outsourcing environmental protection to developing nations.
The company involved, New Forests Company, grows forests in African countries with the purpose of selling credits from the carbon-dioxide its trees soak up to polluters abroad. Its investors include the World Bank, through its private investment arm, and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, HSBC.
The face of green fascism at work. Heck, I’ll bet New Forests got a government loan guarantee from someone.