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GWH, at least in the USA, has really hit hard times.  Perhaps it is because global temperatures haven’t risen in a statistically significant manner for more than 10 years, despite increases in carbon dioxide emmissions. Perhaps the bad economy is such that even believers don’t want more downward pressure to (maybe) stop warming that might never come. Or, perhaps the credibility of global warming has been generally lost due to constant dire warnings, trying to make every weather event global warming, incorrect computer model projections, or whatever, people are just not into the old panic anymore.  Or perhaps, it is the evil Koch Brothers and their astonishingly effective propaganda machine.  Whatever, the hysteria seems to have run out of gas.

Here’s a small but very telling example.  Three years ago Pacific Gas and Electric offered its customers the opportunity to put their money where their mouths are by paying a little extra to fund carbon offsets.  Well, the program is shutting down for lack of participation.  From the SF Chronicle story, “PG&E to End Carbon Offset Plan After Few Sign On:”

Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s ClimateSmart program, which lets the utility’s  customers go “carbon neutral” for a price, will close at the end of the year  after signing up far fewer people than expected. Begun in 2007, ClimateSmart gives participants a way to offset greenhouse gas  emissions from the power plants that supply their electricity. PG&E customers who joined the program pay a little extra on their monthly  bills - about $3.30 for a typical homeowner. PG&E uses the money to fund  projects that fight the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as  preserving forests from logging or capturing methane from cow manure. But the program attracted just a fraction of the roughly 168,000 customers  that PG&E predicted. Enrollment peaked in 2008 at just under 31,000. By the  end of last year, it had slipped to 29,623.

PG&E serves most of Central and Northern California, about 15 million people.  Many of these—about 7 million—live in the Bay Area—e.g., San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Palo Alto, San Jose, Marin County, etc.  The great majority of them are very liberal politically and believe in global warming.  Yet, even they aren’t willing to pay $40 a year to “offset” their own carbon footprints.

Talk is cheap, as they say.  And it may indicate that beneath the politics of the matter—which is different than the reality of it—even hyper liberals aren’t global warming hysterics. Or perhaps, they understand that “offsets” are a racket.  Occupy!  This much is sure: They aren’t willing to put a very small amount of their own money where their collective mouth is.  As I said, quite telling.

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