Sunday, November 30, 2014

Chevrolet just helped bring grasslands into the carbon market

America’s duck factory is in trouble. More than half of North America’s waterfowl hatch in the prairie potholes region, named for the extensive wetlands formed in the depressions glaciers left behind as they receded from what are now the Dakotas, Montana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Canada. But farmers are draining the potholes and tilling what little native prairie remains to plant more corn and soybeans. That’s not just bad news for ducks, it’s bad news for the climate, because breaking up grassland soils releases carbon dioxide. In response, a waterfowl conservation group figured out a new way to help ranchers save their grasses: Paying them to grow carbon instead of corn. Ducks Unlimited and their partners have been working for years on a new kind of carbon credit created by calculating the greenhouse gasses stored in grasslands that would otherwise be tilled. Last week, Chevrolet became its first buyer, purchasing 40,000 tons of those carbon credits, which came from 11,000 acres and 29 landowners in North Dakota. It's part of the company’s $40 million push to offset emissions from driving the new cars and trucks they put on the road in a single year. Even if the credit purchase, which is roughly equivalent to taking 5,000 cars off the road for a year, is modest compared to the scale of the problem, it's still significant....more

Let's see,  in 2009 General Motors received a taxpayer-funded $49.5 billion bailout.  The DC Deep Thinkers finally sold the GM stock for an $11 billion loss.  Now a division of GM is spending $40 million on carbon offsets.  A really wise expenditure, I'm sure, even though the European market for carbon credits has collapsed.  You just can't make this stuff up. 

From high compression horsepower to political pressure grassoline...another example of what's wrong with our country.

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