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More ECO:nomics

Two more tidbits from the ECO:nomics conference:

Recently I flagged a surprising comment from the Wall Street Journal: conventional wisdom in the press corps holds all three presidential candidates as equal on climate. I offered a few theories to explain this media blind spot, and upon reading David Roberts’ summary of a panel discussion between the candidates’ energy advisors, it’s pretty clear the prize goes to theory #2:

Maybe conventional wisdom holds that the policy differences are so hopelessly wonky as to be irrelevant. Broadly speaking, all three candidates want cap-and-trade, and that’s what counts. Airy details around allowance allocations are of concern only to environmentalists and congresscritters.

Even the candidates’ pet wonks seem to view the policy particulars as a sort of a chummy disagreement among friends. It now seems that if this issue is going to get any traction in the general election, it will have to be because one of the candidates decides to make it an issue. Anyway, if you care about the details (which are actually quite interesting), see here and here on Grist.

In TerraPass-related news, TerraPass CEO Erik Blachford attended the conference to lead a roundtable on carbon offsets, and had this to report:

Ed Begley, Jr. did a session on the main stage, and when asked about his personal flying, he told the crowd he offsets with TerraPass. He explained how TerraPass supports clean energy projects, then moved on in his talk. However, when it came time for Q&A, Alan Murray, moderating the conversation, looked up into the crowd and asked whether I was in the room. Next thing I knew, I had a spotlight on me and microphone in my hand.

Alan asked me how anyone would know that their offsets were actually making a difference, so I said what I’m guessing every Terrapass member knows I would say: third party verification! It’s really the only way to know that you are buying genuine measurable, permanent reductions. (I probably don’t have to repeat it for our readership but I will: 100% of Terrapass offsets are verified independently against leading 3rd party standards.)

That was our Terrapass highlight, but what I really enjoyed hearing later in the conference was this: Arnold Schwarzenegger was asked about whether he was living as green a life as Ed Begley. Arnold talked about how he’d converted his Hummer to bio-diesel and so on, but I was even more interested in the point he made about Ed. Apparently the two made a movie together in 1975, and even then Ed was as green as green can be. Now that is my kind of consistency. Go Ed!

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