Once Al Gore Is Done Busting Unwanted Nuts He Can Sell Sea Otters for $700 Million in Carbon Credits
pic credit: toothpaste for dinner
Is that ridiculous headline? It's a ridiculous business. I still don't understand the entire carbon thing and maybe I'm just too stupid to wrap my head around it. Can someone explain to my dumb ass how they are allowed to come up with a harebrained scheme like this?
It has something to do with cow farts and clubbing baby otters I think.
Want to slow global warming? Save a sea otter. So says Chris Wilmers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, whose team has calculated that the animals remove at least 0.18 kilograms of carbon from the atmosphere for every square metre of occupied coastal waters.
That means that if sea otters were restored to healthy populations along the coasts of North America they could collectively lock up a mammoth 1010 kg of carbon – currently worth more than $700 million on the European carbon-trading market. Wilmers explained this at the annual meeting of the Society for Conservation Biology in Edmonton, Canada, this month.
I don't understand carbon emissions, let alone offsets but let's pretend that I do and talk about how this looks suspiciously like the next exotic financial transaction that those trading them do not understand (or understand completely, as if they are betting against them). If it sounds familiar, that's because it is.
Business Week (2007):
Done carefully, offsets can have a positive effect and raise ecological awareness. But a close look at several transactions—including those involving the Oscar presenters, Vail Resorts, and the Seattle power company—reveals that some deals amount to little more than feel-good hype. When traced to their source, these dubious offsets often encourage climate protection that would have happened regardless of the buying and selling of paper certificates. One danger of largely symbolic deals is that they may divert attention and resources from more expensive and effective measures.
The market for carbon offsets in the U.S. could be as high as $100 million, according to researchers' best guesses. That's up from next to nothing just a couple of years ago. One reason for this growth is that the U.S. remains one of the few industrialized countries that hasn't ratified the Kyoto Protocol, a global agreement setting emission limits by nation. In the absence of a mandatory national cap, some Americans have begun taking action on their own, but without widely recognized standards as to what constitutes a valid offset. As long as there are willing buyers and sellers, almost anything goes. "Right now it's a no-man's land out there," says Jennifer Martin of the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions in San Francisco.
Please tell me we have come up with a way to keep track of this made up shit?