Currently, different institutions are pioneering various "carbon credit banks."
The World Bank's Carbon Finance Unit
Basically, polluters can buy "credits" from people or entities that produce less than their share of carbon emisisons. The laudable goal is to cap
the total amount of emissions year by year. The idea is that green areas would get an economic incentive to be green, industrialists could continue
in business, but they'd be incentivized to save money by lowering their emissions, and thus reducing overhead.
Here's the problem, though---in the form of three basic principles of political economy:
First, any time you mention credit, your talking about a fiat currency. Government and quasi-governments love fiat currencies because the ruling
class creates benefit out of "thin air" for themselves.
Second, a basic rule of thumb is that rulers will tax any
activity; so why wouldn't they tax carbon-footprint transactions?
Third, any government/landlord compulsion that begins as a slight inconvenience will eventually be increased until it causes oppression.
Applying these principles, our "leaders" will claim that they "need" a certain amount of credits in order to govern efficiently. For instance, Al
Gore needs to travel by jet to preach the gospel of global warming. He uses more carbon in a month than an average worker-bee American would use in a
I'm predicting that instead of buying
carbon credits from people like you, the leaders will demand a certainn number of credits from your
household via a tax. Same with the company that owns your house, etc.
So, you will end up turning off the lights and TV, to save up enough credits to pay your "carbon tax," while the elite have basically unlimited use
of carbon technologies.
You'll bicycle to work and the grocery in order to pay your carbon bill, while millionaires and celebrities drive SUV's, "fueled" by your credits.
You'll try to set up solar panels and stills in your spare time, to generate clean electricity you can sell back to utility, thus paying down your
All this will keep the working classes from traveling or using fossil fuels, while the liesure class maintains its power by controlling travel and
A few people will get paid to loaf so that the jet-set can still ride in their jets. The rest of us will have to do without, to keep our balances
[edit on 14-4-2008 by dr_strangecraft]