Friday, June 13, 2008

What is wrong with carbon trading?

Well, I don't have enough time to write.

I had all these grand plans about how I was going to spend my free time this semester break, but as it turns out, my employers had other ideas. In short, I'm working about 35 hours a week which means I'll be getting some serious cheddar but after a long day, the last thing I want to do is write.

I'll have to scale back some of the freelance projects I was going to undertake, but I should be able to submit one or two pieces around the place which is nice.

The plans I have at the moment is to write a piece about gaming from the most isolated city in the world (Perth) and submit it to the escapist to see if they want to give it a run (or at least read it).

The other piece I'm thinking of developing is an article about the practice of offsetting carbon. My plan would be to hit up an editor of a bio-publication I had a bit of contact with over the semester.

My piece would question the whole practice of planting trees in a vain attempt from companies such as QANTAS and other to offset their footprint. Planting a whole bunch of trees is nice, but how long does it take for those trees to grow?

All the while they keep on polluting, but can say 'hey!We're eco-friendly, look at all the trees we've planted!'. Then what happens if the trees are cut down and made into furniture, what happens to the carbon in the plant then? Does it get released back into the atmosphere?

Perhaps a better way of showing you're eco-friendly would be to invest in renewable energies?

It's even worse since we've ratified the Kyoto protocol. Now companies have the power to engage in carbon trading, and specialist carbon traders are popping up around the place (including here in Perth).

It goes like this. A company can set them selves up so they buy property, plant a bunch of trees to develop a carbon sink. Then, because as a full business they've been allocated a heck of a lot of carbon credits, they can on sell them to the highest bidder (usually from a heavily polluting company). The thing is, they can claim the credits straight away, without waiting for the trees to grow to their full size.

So the polluting industry can keep on polluting because they have the carbon credits to do so, the dedicated carbon trader has a lot of dough and CO2 emissions continue to pollute.

A better system, in my opinion, would be a straight up tax on polluting companies. That way would you not only discourage polluting, you could take the money from the taxes and invest it in renewable energy such as wind, solar or hot rocks/geothermal (a personal fave of mine).

So anyhow, that's what I'd be going with the piece, and I'd be contacting some companies who are setting themselves up as carbon traders to see what sort of protocols are in place regarding the trading scheme.

I'll also be doing my usual round of reviews at the escapist forums, and my next two will be a comparative review between Deus Ex and Deus Ex: Invisible War, and Tiger Woods '08. I actually have some time to work on these, so I'm hoping these turn out to be really high quality reviews instead of the five minute reviews I usually submit, and hopefully these will hit around the same time I'm submitting to the Escapist.

Anyhow, I'm sorry for the longish post.


P.S- A shout out to all the Perth Escapists, at the moment Saskwatch and I are planning on goin' bowling in about 2 weeks time. We're hoping this could turn into a Perth Escapists forum/micro-convention, so if you want to meet up with me and the Yankee Culthulu, either contact me on the forums or send me an email.

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