For the “perverse incentives of environmental regulations” file, we learn that Russia and Ukraine may have been increasing their polluting activities so that they could abate the problem and sell the carbon offset credits to other countries to help them meet their anti-pollution goals:
According to a study released in the journal Nature Climate Change, plants in Russia “increased waste gas generation to unprecedented levels once they could generate credits from producing more waste gas,” resulting in an increase in emissions as large as 600 million tons of carbon dioxide—roughly half the amount the EU’s ETS intends to reduce from 2013 to 2030.
As Glenn Reynolds suggests, “It’s like the whole thing is just one big scam.” Environmentalism is just about perfect, from the progressive point of view. It provides an excuse to grab power for the government; it creates channels for corruption to make friends and allies filthy rich (and launder money back to politicians); and it all comes wrapped in the motivational package of a pseudo religion.
And here’s a bonus lesson on Iran:
The UN seemingly left it up to national governments to oversee these projects, and now it has a full-blown crisis on its hands.
Although contested, there have been reports that, under the deal promoted by President Obama, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will send unqualified inspectors to keep an eye on Iran’s nuclear program and may rely on Iran, itself, to participate in the inspections. Budding internationalism and the push for a global government that is not democratic, but is bureaucratic, come with the gigantic, existential question over whether we can or should trust such a system.