San Lorenzo Valley Water District eyes cap-and-trade program

The Santa Cruz Sentinel printed this article today, as straight news, not even in the comics section. 

BOULDER CREEK — Surveying will begin next month on about 1,600 acres of land in Boulder Creek, Zayante and Olympia to find out how much carbon those forests contain, with the San Lorenzo Valley Water District hoping to fetch a princely sum in the state’s newly launched cap-and-trade program.

Earlier this month, the district’s Board of Directors approved spending $45,000 on the “carbon sequestration” project, which will be headed by the Alameda-based forestry consulting firm Buena Vista Services. Work is expected to begin within the next 30 days, and “by the fall, we’ll have the inventory number locked down,” said Jim Mueller, district’s general manager. 

That number will be certified by an independent third party, and soon after, the district will be able to enter the cap-and-trade auctions.
During a meeting to discuss the project several months ago, Joe McGuire, a principal with Buena Vista Services, estimated the district’s lands contain up to 850,000 tons of carbon, and that those credits can be sold for a total of $550,000 during the next 12 years. 

Betsy Herbert, the district’s environmental analyst, said the team will take samples from trees in different sites, and that data will then be crunched to get an estimate on how quickly the forests will grow during the next 12 years, she said. The study will be updated in 2025, and every 12 years thereafter, she said.

How much more absurd can this be? The forest is standing there, growing, breathing in CO2 and breathing out O2, as it has for centuries. Now some upstart snert in the water department can make money off it by selling “carbon credits,” as if the Department was responsible for making the trees do their natural thing.
The other side of the story, not included here, is that someone, whoever is buying the “carbon credits,” is buying the right to pollute.
This is why economics is a fantasy discipline. It has nothing to do with reality and everything to do with human audacity. Who would have thought of such a thing but an economist?
Chaining them to the ocean floor is too good for them.

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