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Green Party should retain Values - reject ETS

Green Party should retain Values – reject ETS


Bonus Joules and the Knowledge Economy
Bonusjoules Blog
Blog by Dave McArthur - published 24 August 2008

Bonus Joules and the Knowledge Economy: All images on this site are copyright 2001 and you are free to use them with care.

Note. Written in haste with a three day deadline, during which I also had to perform my full range of duties as a school caretaker/janitor.

Dear Green Party

Thank you for inviting public feedback re. the Emissions Trading Strategy (ETS).

The Green Party should not touch the ETS with a barge pole. It should reject the ETS because at best it is an extremely inefficient and high-risk strategy and at worst it contains a fundamental and fatal psychological flaw that guarantees misery long term. To be simplistic:

The ETS is promoted by those who do not care. It is designed to destroy civics and stewardship.

By comparison the Carbon Tax Strategy is promoted by those who do care. It retains civics and stewardship.

Here are some of the reasons why the Green Party should reject the ETS.


Click through to Bonus Joules Cartoon Strip

Revealing our Thermal Beings
Bonus Joules attempts to make the invisible visible and reveal our thermal beings.
Chapter Five - Land of the Other- The Burning Miracle

The Psychology of the ETS.

I will develop on this aspect in some detail because I am sure many others will provide a range of examples of the failure of existing Emissions Trading Schemes and similar market models. What they may not make clear is the highly probable fact that the examples are symptomatic of a fundamental systematic flaw that cannot be legislated out of existence. The Green Party can tinker with the legislative machinery of the ETS till eternity but its desperate efforts at fine-tuning will never make it sustainable. The fact is the ETS machinery is taking the Party and all New Zealanders down the wrong road. Here’s why.

The most insightful psychologists/physicists in recorded history have pretty much proven one thing: we human beings have an extraordinary capacity to delude ourselves. These people understood and lived the Conservation Principle of Energy. They recognised that we each have an enormous potential to create very sophisticated mechanisms to deny the Conservation Principle, which states that while energy is bounteous all forms are subject to change. This includes human beings. We arise and pass, as do all other forms - we are mortal. Their extensive experience reflecting and living the Conservation Principle and physics in general provided them with detailed proof that mind and matter are intimately connected and each human being is a steward of their actions within the flux of change.

They have provided humanity with an extremely elegant and simple experiment with which to prove our capacity for rationalisation and denial. It is an experiment any human being can perform and the results are universally consistent. Sit for one hour and be aware of no other activity than the breath passing through the nostrils. Simply observe the sensations of the breath in the full spirit of science i.e. with compassion, honesty, inclusiveness, reflection and a sense of generosity of time/timelessness.

This experiment, if performed in a state of science, provides strong evidence of the capacity of the mind to create very sophisticated systems for denying us the total and constant awareness of the breath. The experiment quickly provides ample evidence of our mind’s capacity to generate very ingenious and detailed rationales for denial – in this case the denial of the pure awareness of the breath for one hour. The experiment, if performed with integrity, also provides overwhelming evidence that all is change and we are stewards of our actions within that change.

The experiment also shows the scientific observer that as part of this process of denial the mind works to generate schisms in the awareness. For instance it will attempt to transform the sense of timelessness during the pure observation of the breath into discrete and fractured experiences in which the mind becomes focussed on the clock ("God, when will this meaningless experience end?"- time without end) or on a memory (past time) or on a future-planning exercise ("What will I have for lunch?" -future time) or other such distraction.

Analysis of millennia of human history also supports the vast body of evidence gained from the performance of this simple experiment by countless individuals.

In brief:
Societies that live in acceptance of change/stewardship tend to enhance humanity. This is manifest as societies that tend to generate greater health, peace, harmony and general well being.

Societies that live in denial of change/stewardship tend to reduce humanity. This is manifest as societies that tend to generate greater disease, famine, war and misery.


Click through to Bonus Joules Cartoon Strip

Revealing our Thermal Beings
Bonus Joules attempts to make the invisible visible and reveal our thermal beings.
Chapter Five - Land of the Other- The Burning Miracle

Homo Sapiens are Carbon Beings.

Human beings, like all known living matter, consist a wide range of carbon forms. Carbon is integral to our fuel systems- whether it is for food, breathing, drinking, transport, dwellings or knowledge. Carbon atoms constantly flow through the universe, including every human being, and they are continually transformed into different carbon compounds. How we use our carbon potential can work to sustain or destroy our species.

Currently humans, in particular a rich and powerful 15% elite or 1 billion beings, are using that potential in extremely unsustainable ways. This includes the majority of New Zealanders who, for instance destroy about 38 barrels of mineral oil per 1000 people each day. This is several times the rate of destruction by the average person among the billions of people on the African and Asian continents- some nations average less than one barrel per 1000 people. The carbon dioxide equivalent of our gas emissions have increased over 40 % since 1990 when the carbon trading ethos became part of our NZ social fabric. This includes the direct emissions from our combustion of carbon resources and indirect emissions through our consumption of manufactured products.

The Psychology of "The Market" symbol.

All those who have performed the above psychological/physical experiment with rigour know the truth: humans have a vast capacity for denial of change/stewardship. The current use of the "The Market" symbol by our academics, politicians and media reflects the existence of one such very sophisticated psychological mechanism for denial.

In acceptance of change/stewardship each of us individually places his or her own value on a carbon resource within the framework of the total carbon potential. Our walk reflects our talk. In this state of acceptance the individual and their society work to maximise knowledge of this potential and the value accorded is reflected in their conservative and caring lifestyles.

In denial of change and stewardship a very different process operates. Each individual refuses to accept responsibility for his or her actions. We adopt belief systems that work to dissociate and disconnect us from the consequences of our activities. We erect psychological structures in the form of socio-economic entities and institutions that enable us to both externalise responsibility for decision-making and to ignore reality by generating schisms in our awareness. The lack of individual stewardship works to generate psychopathic structures and activities. This is reflected in the symbols we employ, in this case our use of the "The Market" symbol.

Markets can take many forms and vary across a broad continuum of individual stewardship.

At the acceptance extreme there are markets in which the vast majority of participating individuals maintain a strong sense of stewardship for their activities in the exchange of goods and services. These tend to be characterised by profoundly democratic structures in which all participant enjoy equal access to knowledge generated by the market structure. The institution places great importance on operating so as to conserve resources and the options of human beings long-term. Humans are accorded a high value. This is typified as the "service-driven market".

At the denial extreme there are markets in which only a select few individuals are able to participate and these participants have a weak sense of stewardship for their activities in the exchange of goods and services. These tend to be characterised by profoundly undemocratic structures in which an amoral elite own and control the movement of knowledge generated by the market. The institution places zero importance of operating so as to conserve resources and the focus is on providing maximum short-returns for the elite of market operators. This is typified as the "profit- driven market".

Psychologists describe such structures as psychopathic because they lack compassion and have an ethos that places a little or no value on the life of a human being.

New Zealand is now known internationally among economists as the prime example of the latter market structure*. When they research our economy they can tick nearly all the boxes for the exemplar of a "free market economy". According to modern economic theory, our current "profit driven" structure should be generating a considerable increase in wealth for New Zealand people.

By contrast ancient psychological theory, as outlined above, suggests that the adoption of the "profit driven market" structure in the mid 1980s should have resulted in an increasing loss of wealth.

Critical indicators support the latter theory: most New Zealanders have experienced a general loss of wealth. The psychological theory correctly predicted the "profit-driven market" would work contrary to its stated objectives in the medium-long term. Household debt levels have risen significantly and remaining wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a diminishing minority.

*Note: A quick analysis of NZ’s main media shows that "The Market" symbol is commonly associated with the "profit-driven market" structure – in particular the tiny, heavily-subsidised market called the NZX, a Stock Exchange corporation. Sometimes the media refer to "The Markets" and again they are referring to an international group of Stock Exchange corporations.

The history of the NZ Electricity Market, in which Bulk-generated electrical resources are traded, provides powerful evidence of the different results generated by service and profit driven market systems.

Traditionally all New Zealanders could participate in this market using one of 60 democratic community-based, freehold and relatively "service-driven" structures. The Electricity Reform legislation demolished these structures and replaced them with 6 undemocratic "profit driven" corporations.

The stated objective of the Electricity Reforms was that they would generate more efficient uses of resources, in particular wiser uses of our carbon potential. This "profit-driven" structure was also supposed to lower prices for households. Again the converse has occurred. NZ carbon resources such as mineral oil and gas have been depleted at an accelerated rate, what was freehold has become heavily debt ridden, carbon gas emissions from our use of our electrical potential have increased while Bulk-generated electricity prices to households have doubled and large corporations enjoy relatively cheap prices. Effectively this new "profit driven market" structure is transferring billions of dollars of community wealth to a small minority.

The Superanuation Market provides similar lessons. The wealth of communities has been invested in activities based on very low valuations of very valuable carbon resources. This is manifest in the promotion of very unsustainable uses of carbon (private cars, speculative dwelling construction, motorways, armaments, drugs, jet travel, non-recyclable plastic products, etc) and the reduction of investment in sustainable uses of carbon (quality dwelling design and insulation, smart rail and shipping, dwelling-generated electrical products, soil conservation, resilient forests etc).

The majority of citizens have no democratic say in how their funds are invested and will receive only a fraction, if any, of the wealth they contributed to the Superanuation Market. Most of it is diverted into the pockets of a minority who control the knowledge and brokerage processes of this market. The recently implemented KiwiSaver is a classic example of this "profit driven" market structure and most New Zealanders will be net losers either directly through investment in the market or indirectly through the excess taxation required to provide the huge Government subsidies the brokers receive.

The Carbon Trading Market ethos has existed in New Zealand since the early 1990s though it has only become formalised this century. New Zealand (Hon Simon Upton et al) has played a pivotal role, especially at Kyoto, in ensuring that this "profit driven" market model is adopted internationally. Already its fundamental flaws are very evident and are producing results counter to the stated objectives. Carbon gas emissions have worsened and already it has resulted in considerable transfers of wealth to the rich.

These transfers have occurred through a range of mechanisms including the transfer of carbon liabilities from corporations to the average citizen and the gifting of carbon credits to corporations based on under-estimates of the price of mineral oil. They are gifted carbon credits to proceed with projects such as Bulk-gen wind turbines on that basis that these prjects would not be viable under "business as usual" (BAU) e.g. when the price of mineral oil was $US20 a barrel. However the gifting of the carbon credits is needless because the project is viable under BAU because the price of mineral oil is actually $US30 or more by the time the project is operating.

It is common knowledge how the Carbon Trading ethos has affected our vision of trees and timber. Trees, which play many roles in the carbon flow, have become devalued resulting in an historic drop in tree planting while the removal of remaining forests has increased. There has been a considerable increase in the dwelling size/person and the expansion of urban areas based on increasingly wasteful uses of carbon.

Further evidence that NZ Parliamentarians are in serious denial their roles as stewards of carbon is KiwiSaver. This new scheme is a product of the Carbon Trading ethos and exemplifies its flaws. It diverts funds away from sustainable uses of carbon such as investment in rail, community-centred uses of our electrical potential (broadband, dwelling scale generation etc) and quality dwellings. It instead diverts these vital funds into sectors such as those that make mass-intensive uses of biomass from which only a few profit medium-term, jets, cars, armaments and motorways and into speculative construction sectors.

Similarly the recent secretive Meridian-Comalco deal in which the average New Zealander pays for Comalco’s share of our nation’s carbon emissions is instructive. It receives all the general benefits and carbon credits from being given effective ownership till 2030 of half of NZ’s capacity to Bulk-generate electrical products from our nation’s hydro resources. This deal also means the average citizen is subsidising the construction of wasteful and polluting uses of carbon because most of Comalco’s aluminium goes into manufacturing car parts.

One of the objectives of the ETS is supposed transparency. The Comalco-Meridian deal with all its secrecy and lack of accountability illustrates very clearly the failure of the ETS ethos even before it becomes legislation. This deal alone should be more than enough to warn the Green Party that the ETS fatally flawed.

As a general principle, the Carbon Trading Market rewards those who are the principle wasters of carbon resources while punishing those who conserve carbon resources.

Example: Millions of people who maximally conserve carbon have been displaced from their ancestral lands so that jet and car users can use it for projects to "offset" and "neutralise" the destruction of remaining mineral oil/gas resources.

Example: In NZ non-car owners are heavily penalised through both their local taxes and the high inflation caused by the wasteful use of mineral oil of car-owners. They are forced to pay for motorways and extensive car parks while enduring higher interest rates, higher food costs and lower quality mass transit systems.


Click through to Bonus Joules Cartoon Strip

Revealing our Thermal Beings
Bonus Joules attempts to make the invisible visible and reveal our thermal beings.
Chapter Five - Land of the Other- The Burning Miracle

Example of how "The Market" values carbon

Mineral oil is an extraordinary resource in that

(a) Each 42-gallon barrel contains the potential of approximately 25000 man- hours of labour.

(b) It can be used as a fertiliser.

(c) It can be used to store and transport food/medicines/water and other essentials. For instance it currently supplies 5 out of every 6 calories required to put a calorie of food on the average plate of the 6.7 billion human beings that now exit.

(d) It can provide weatherproof membranes (clothing/dwellings).

(e) The resource is easy to store and transport.

(f) It has the potency to alter the carbon balances of the atmosphere that sustain human life.

In short, the recent exponential increase in the global population of human beings has been enabled by easily accessed mineral oil – without it at least six billion human would soon perish.

Mineral oil is also no different to any other resource in that it exists in very limited quantities. Thus the honest individual who acts as a steward of this resource places a very high value on it and uses it accordingly.

In New Zealand where the average man-hour of labour is valued at $NZ23, such a value means mineral oil should be priced at over $US1000 a 42 gallon barrel. Such a value still values the carbon resource at only 4 cents per man-hour of labour.

This construct called the "The Market" places a price of less than 0.4 cents. On some occasions in the past decade "The Market" has placed a price of 0.04cents per man-hour of labour equivalent of this extraordinarily valuable carbon resource. Anyone who is aware of how limited remaining mineral oil/gas reserves are can see such low prices are insane. The prices indicate how psychotic the system is. This psychotic state means the "profit driven market" can put a price on a carbon resource but it can never know the value of it. This type of market cares not whether humanity survives or perishes.

The overwhelming evidence is that "The Carbon Trading Market" will similarly undervalue the carbon balances of atmosphere that sustain human life. A few carbon traders will make a lot of money wheeling and dealing just as CEOs of our "profit-driven" corporations make huge bonuses regardless of whether the companies they administer thrive or collapse.

The impacts of the severe under-valuations of carbon in the form of fuels and as vital elements of the atmosphere have combined to puts billions of lives at dire risk.


Click through to Bonus Joules Cartoon Strip

Revealing our Thermal Beings
Bonus Joules attempts to make the invisible visible and reveal our thermal beings.
Chapter Five - Land of the Other- The Burning Miracle

Education.

I have found no literature that seriously researches the impact of the use of the Carbon Trading symbol on education. I know for a fact that the NZ Green Party has been unable to confront this aspect of the ETS.

My own research suggests that impact of the Carbon Trading ethos is consistent with the psychology of denial. In brief, it has worked to disempower students and promote activities that increase their "carbon footprints". The statistical evidence is that the average NZ student’s use of wasteful uses of our carbon potential has increased significantly this last fifteen years under the "market driven" uses of carbon. This is manifest in their increased use of cars, jets, cross-city schools, plastics, packaged /non-local food, etc).

Education resources increasingly make associations of the "carbon" symbol with tradable commodities. In this process there is a reduction in the associations of the symbol with the fact that carbon is a common element of all known life forms in the universe. While there is much talk of promoting a sense of stewardship in our young people the real curriculum is now, on balance, working to destroy this sense. Symbol uses that work to sustain the concept of civics and a sense of individual stewardship of our carbon potential are increasingly replaced by symbol uses that work to deny these developments.

A few examples:

The "carbon trading" symbol teaches that some abstract entity called " The Carbon Market" will assume responsibility for the student’s actions and ensure their future.

The "carbon offsetting" and "carbon neutrality" symbols deny the reality of change on a wide range of levels e.g. that carbon resources such as mineral oil/gas and coal are eonic transformations.

The common use of the "energy" symbol as in "fossil fuels =energy" denies the Conservation Principle, promotes the belief that fossil fuels are as bounteous as energy and it excludes the atmosphere from the combustion equation.

Most revealing is the collapse in 2000 of the 1990s nation-wide education programme Energy Action for lack of funding and its replacement with Enviroschools. Energy Action taught powerful links between our use of carbon in the atmosphere and our use of carbon in our homes and in fossil fuels. The programme was the product of the "service-driven" electricity industry era that ended with the Electricity Reform legislation in the 1990s. The education programme was antithetical to the imperatives of the new "profit-driven" corporations.

The architects of Enviroschools, however unwittingly, omitted these powerful links when they designed it in 2000. The atmosphere is completely non-existent in its core framework. It is a fact of history that Enviroschools has only prospered because the NZ Green Party negotiated significant funding for it in the negotiations following the 2005 elections.

Enviroschools is now the major symbol in our schools of our relationship with our carbon potential and it reflects a major denial of our roles of stewards of carbon. I am not alone in making this observation. Hon Sir Jonathon Porritt expressed his utter dismay at the "complete lack of reference to carbon in Enviroschools" during his visit to New Zealand in 2006. It is helpful to ask the question: What does this denial reflect in New Zealand society and, in particular, what does the denial reflect in the NZ Green Party?

In summary, the above symbol uses (carbon trading/offsetting/neutral) work to create a wide range of schisms in the awareness of the student of the impacts of their use of carbon. Further schisms are created by the tendency for education materials to increasingly focus on small subsets of our carbon use, thus further fracturing student sensibility of carbon. These are typically characterised by symbol uses such as the "Peak Oil" symbol, the "Climate Change=Bad" symbol, the "Atmosphere = Greenhouse" symbol, Atmosphere = the "Fossil Fuels = Energy" symbol, the "Carbon = Carbon dioxide" symbol and the Dwelling = Greenhouse" symbol.

Each of these symbols generates subsets of languages and concepts that evoke conflicting images of how the carbon flows. The net result is the destruction of the science our children enjoy. And the intelligence of our communities is degraded as a direct result – just as the "profit-driven" Electricity Market structure has disempowered communities and destroyed most, if not all, of their access to the intelligence of their local electrical networks.

There are potent reasons for my constant linking of our electrical and carbon potentials and, in particular, the "profit driven" Electricity Market and the ETS. Both of the latter mechanisms are of the same genesis and were created by the same group of merchant bankers. The collapse of Enron in the US and OnEnergy in New Zealand illustrates the corrupt nature of the mechanisms. The successful transition of humanity beyond the Cheap Mineral Oil/Gas Age is very dependent on how we use our electrical potential. The ETS will promote uses of that potential that are equally unsustainable as the uses promoted by the NZ Electricity Reforms here and the Enron ethos globally.

And already we have seen the transfer of tens of billions of dollars of "carbon credits" to the owners of the Bulk-generated electricity sector, even as the sector actually increased its emissions of carbon based gases.

Our Minister of Energy and Minster Responsible for Climate Issues is Hon David Parker. His Parliamentary website states, "David Parker’s involvement in politics arose from his opposition to the sale of community-owned electricity trusts." If he, the Labour Party and parties like the Green Party had confronted the unsustainable nature of "profit-driven" Electricity Market and had repealed the Electricity Reforms they would not have been in the current quandary. Communities would once again have been able to make intelligent uses of their carbon and electrical potential. Education resources such as Energy Action would now be thriving. The wider public could well have enjoyed a finer education in how and why we should place a high value (and price) on resources such as fossil fuels. New Zealand would not be contemplating the ETS now.

The NZ Green Party should retain Values.

New Zealand and the Green Party have two clear options.

We can opt for the ETS or we can opt for a civic carbon valuation strategy (commonly manifest a direct Carbon Tax strategy).

We can opt for the ETS and place zero personal value on carbon civics and let the few individuals that control the international carbon trading system dictate how we use our homes and shape our nation. In other words we can deny our roles as citizens and our roles as stewards amidst the global flux of carbon change.

We can opt for the Carbon Tax strategy, place a high personal value on carbon civics and retain control of how our nation uses the global carbon potential. In other words we can accept our roles as citizens and stewards amidst the global flux of carbon change.

The flaws inherent of the ETS are increasingly being catalogued. The European Carbon Trading scheme resulted in the transfer of several billion Euros to the owners of their Bulk-generated electricity sector despite their increases in carbon emissions. The BBC recently broadcast a two-part investigation that provided graphic evidence of the flaws and exposed the glib fallacies of the carbon brokers. (Note1) Also recently Mike Davis posted a wider perspective putting our unsustainable use of carbon into an ionic context. (Note 2)

And constantly new evidence is surfacing exposing the flimsy basis of the carbon offsetting calculations and how they consistently undervalue carbon. For instance this month evidence was published suggesting untouched forests store 60% more carbon than plantation forests. (Note 3)

The wisdom of the Carbon Tax ethos is also there to be articulated. Countries like Norway have maintained carbon tax regimes that they have used to invest in national structures that will help them survive the passing of the Cheap Mineral Oil/Gas Age (See Note 4). British Colombia in Canada has recently instituted a carbon tax that means the community can generate and direct investment into quality housing insulation, intelligent uses of smart technology, research/education and other carbon-harmonious activities. (Note 5).

The decision is not easy. As mentioned it is the failure of groups such as our parliamentarians, the NZ Green Party and Greenpeace to confront the flaws in psychopathic systems such as the "profit- driven" Electricity Market that leaves them in the invidious position of having to decide whether or not to support the ETS - a system they sense in their guts is fatally flawed. This type of market has resulted in an education system that produces confused and carbon illiterate individuals. This failure is reflected in our media.

The media will trash the Green Party if refuses to support the ETS legislation. There is no doubt about this for at least three reasons.

Our media operates in a "profit driven" market environment where the truth is subservient to ratings and short-term profits. Some of its proprietors stand to make easy profits from the ETS that they could not under a civil Carbon Tax regime.

Much of the income of our media is derived from wasteful uses of paper and being agents in the active promotion of unsustainable uses of carbon in the form of advertisements for cars, airlines, petrol companies, long-haul and over-manufactured food etc.

The lifestyles of almost all the policy makers in our media, including the likes of Greenpeace, have one thing in common. Their individual carbon footprint is enormous compared to that of the lifestyles of the most sustainable humans. For instance, they destroy mineral oil/gas reserves at over 50 times the rate and generate many times more carbon emissions. Many of our media folk experience troubled consciences about their unsustainable uses of carbon and so desperately cling to the ETS, for this provides the psychological mechanisms for them to "offset" their destruction of carbon resources and balances and so "neutralise" the deep personal dissonance they experience.

So the media and other political leaders will deride the Green Party as “unrealistic” and “out of touch” for refusing to support the ETS. And what is the reality of these deriders? Honest observation reveals that the reality of these detractors is that their walk is completely out of kilter with their talk: if everyone adopted their lifestyle and created their carbon footprints humanity would collapse instantly into hideous global warfare and famine.

New Zealanders and the Green Party should remain mindful that there exists in our people a deep unease about both the quality of our media and the carbon-trading ethos. A strong residue of appreciation of values and service remains in our nation and at present it has no political voice with regards to our use of carbon. In particular Green Party decision markers should remain mindful of the party’s origin – The Values Party, which was born out of an awareness that the enormous military-industrial complex that emerged with the Second World War had no values. The social structure cared not how many people perished by napalm or nuclear bombs or poisoned seas and soils.

The Values Party never gained a seat in Parliament and yet its spirit still sustains our nation. It is found in all of us who continue to accept our roles as stewards of the flows and balances of carbon forms. Its spirit is found in the belief that it is the sovereign right and duty of each citizen to value the life of all humans and that which sustains them. In this context taxes are a symbol of civilisation – and that includes taxes that work directly to maintain harmony between the activities of humans and the carbon flows and balances that sustains us.

The NZ Green Party should not touch the ETS with a barge pole for it is simply a mechanism denying stewardship and it is completely lacking values. Our children will bless us for rejecting it and opting to retain our values.

FOOTNOTE re Cartoon

This cartoon was drawn about 2003 and was part of a series deconstructing the Genesis Energy education module for our children. The module was a classic piece of Spin and denial. The web-based resource featured a large-scale coal burning plant for generating electrical resources such as Bulk-gen Electricity Company operates. In the series I send Bonus Joules through the module to show how it fails to teach how the company mines the atmosphere and to show how the module could teach the truth if the company really wanted. It is a classic example of how “ profit-driven” companies tend to destroy science in our communities. The module has now been taken down off the web.

Note 1 The great carbon bazaar

By Mark Gregory
Business correspondent, BBC World Service, India

Evidence of serious flaws in the multi-billion dollar global market for carbon credits has been uncovered by a BBC World Service investigation.

The credits are generated by a United Nations-run scheme called the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

The mechanism gives firms in developing countries financial incentives to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

But in some cases, carbon credits are paid to projects that would have been realised without external funding.

Note 2 Tomgram: Mike Davis, Welcome to the Next Epoch

posted June 26, 2008 10:48 am

Now, in a striking report from the front lines of science, Mike Davis, TomDispatch regular and author most recently of In Praise of Barbarians: Essays Against Empire, "welcomes" the new geologic era we're officially entering, a period in which humanity may simply, and catastrophically, outrun history itself. Tom

Living on the Ice Shelf

Humanity's Meltdown
By Mike Davis

Note 3

Untouched Forests Store More Carbon

Posted on: Monday, 4 August 2008, 14:20 CDT

A new Australian study of "green carbon" and its role in climate change suggests that untouched natural forests store three times more carbon dioxide than previously estimated and 60 percent more than plantation forests.

Note 4 Even though Norway is the third largest oil exporter, the fuel is heavily taxed. The fuel tax for regular fuel pumps (gas stations) in Norway contributed to 63% of the fuel price in 2007

Note 5 B.C. introduces carbon ta x

Province is first jurisdiction in North America to have consumer-based carbon tax

By Jonathan Fowlie and Fiona Anderson, Vancouver Sun

Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2008

ENDS

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