Greed is good as long as it is green

Pres Panayotov /
Pres Panayotov /

Conservatives greeted the news that Greenpeace executive Pascal Husting flies to work in a private jet with cries of “hypocrisy” because of the “carbon footprint” associated with such luxurious commutes. Some might find it sufficiently appalling that Greenpeace has any private jets at all.


This is not the only head scratching scandal to hit Greenpeace in recent weeks. In July we learned that a Greenpeace employee caused the organization to lose more than $5,000,000 in a foreign currency trading snafu.

Wait … Greenpeace has a currency trading desk?

Apparently so. “Greenpeace International entered into contracts to buy foreign currency at a fixed exchange rate while the euro was gaining in strength,” the organization admitted in a press release. “This resulted in a loss of 3.8 million euros against a range of other currencies.”

It’s not as though we needed any more evidence that the environmental movement is a hobby of the “Haves” at the expense of the “Have Nots” and the “Have a Little, Want Mores.” After all, it was just last month that liberal billionaire Tom Steyer said that among the “super sophisticated” the green movement has taken off but it wasn’t so hot among “99.5% of people.” But we’ll take it.

My guess is the middle class would take all the condescension if it meant it could avoid the crippling policies that come with it. According to a study by the Manhattan Institute, the EPA’s new carbon emissions regulations will disproportionately hurt the middle class and especially the poor:


According to recently-released data from the Labor Department’s Consumer Expenditure Survey, those in the lowest fifth of income earners spend the greatest share of their incomes on energy (defined as natural gas, electricity, and gasoline and motor oil). Earners in the lowest income quintile spend 24 percent of their pre-tax income on energy, while those in the highest income quintile spend four percent—the same as in 2012. Even though high-earners spend more on net, it is the poor who will have their budgets squeezed as they struggle to pay for gas and electricity.

No wonder fifteen Governors, led by Indiana’s Mike Pence, are actively working to stop the EPA’s regulations from ever being implemented. Governors, unlike EPA bureaucrats and their billionaire puppet masters, are accountable to middle class families.

Meanwhile, the Sierra Club is getting in on the green profiteering by reselling Sungevity’s rooftop solar panels for a profit of $1,000 a pop. As we have covered previously, rooftop solar leases are a bad deal for middle class homeowners, though they are great business for solar company CEOs and their Wall Street backers.


Now there’s a new wrinkle in the rooftop solar scheme. As Ken Blackwell has observed, Wall Street is now securitizing rooftop leases and packaging them up for even more cash – just like the mortgage companies did in the run-up to the Great Recession.

Big Green has become the new Gordon Gekko, it seems. Greed, for lack of a better term, is good … as long as it’s green, I guess.


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