There is and has been since, the notion of a carbon market emerged, a steady drum beat boosterism of market PR working to push the market price for carbon higher.
Version 1.0 of this game earned the major players hundreds of billions in illicit derivative and arbitrage profits and a token few jail sentences. Now version 2.0 of the ‘sub-prime carbon game’ is being finalized for release in Paris.
Want to know why? Follow The Money!
(Don’t despair there is the good news solution at the end of this post.)
Boosterism run wild created the carbon market bubble a few years ago, the popular Climate/Carbon Market Game version 1.0, was a big hit where prices exceeded $30 per credit and trading reached more than €100 Billion per year. The bubble soon burst as it was cannibalized by profit takers using illicit ‘back door’ methods built into the game but has begun to start anew. Today a new effort is underway as part of the COP21 process to conflate another climate carbon bubble, version 2.0, with a ten fold increase in its cash flow targets. To answer those who are once more clamoring mindlessly for a rise in carbon prices and volumes here is a real history lesson. One true result of recent history reveals that a high carbon price has been shown to turn the carbon market into a casino gaming table for carbon banksters.
Consider that time just a few years ago when carbon offsets, aka ‘sub-prime carbon derivatives’, were generating more than a hundred billion dollars a year in “trades” in the carbon casinos of Europe. The volume of carbon being sold only once could not be calculated or accounted for to match the money in play. Every ‘credit’ was being re-packaged into a vast menu of derivatives and sold ten times over before being retired to actually offset emissions. The avaricious bankster middlemen made their commissions which turned 90 cents on every dollar into their black profits. Hundreds of billions in profits were pilfered in carbon casinos, more than a few of these people ended up in jails.
Today the constant, hardly even re-written, boosterism by those wanting to create a trillion dollar per year carbon market promotes endless press release hype and spin about the ‘goodness’ in such a market. As history proves this is no good for the planet and only good for those eager to be money changers at the door of the new green temple. It’s an ageless story that has been with us for thousands of years the most dangerous nature of too many humans seems to be greed and avarice (Luke 19:45). Give those so inclined a glorious cause celeb to park their gaming tables next to and you have bankster heaven. Here’s a specific reference worth reading in the once great, though now discredited, Rolling Stone – the bubble machine.
Groundwork being laid.
In the lead up to the Paris COP21 some nations like the UK, London by the way is the centre of the carbon banking universe, are stating that they will set a carbon floor price in 2016 of £18, or about $27 US dollars… that’s close to record past carbon bubble highs. If you haven’t been paying attention that creates a vast sum of money to follow!
President Obama has now lent his powerful support to the carbon market plans by stating that the US will be spending what it takes, read $27 per ton at 2016 prices, to achieve an emission reduction of ~1 billion tons per year by 2025. By that time inflation will surely have boosted the price of carbon to far beyond the new ‘floor price’ set by the carbon bankers of London. Given the world seeks to reduce carbon emissions by something like 5-10 billion tons per year the global number adds up to a stunning amount.
Don’t forget the recent history lesson above, when climate carbon trading began the market minions quickly created all manner of derivative trading to the extent that every real carbon credit generated ten times its retirement value in the market. Take the soon to become reality of COP21, London, and Obama and the simple math shows that the new carbon casino is looking for action to the tune of about $3 Trillion per year. Again don’t forget 90% of that black money will pass into the hands of the gamers while 10% of that might trickle down to actually do some good for the planet. Follow the money could never be a more valid piece of advice. A token few of the miscreant gamers were jailed for their exploitation and gaming of Climate Market version 1.0.
What if the cost of safely and effectively managing the lions share of the billions of tonnes of CO2 were to cost less than a penny per tonne, far less? Even better what if such a solution were ready to be deployed around the world tomorrow after more than 25 years of international scientific development and proven large scale trials? And last but not least what if that solution were to also provide the means to help end world hunger, undeniably one of the most vital and worsening needs of today’s human society?
Back in 2006 when I introduced the method and concept of ocean pasture restoration (and also the planting of climate trees KlimaFa in Eastern Europe) at the world’s largest carbon market event in Cologne Germany a rather dapper French businessman who headed the European Carbon Banking system came up to me and invited me to go share a glass of wine with him to talk about my proposition. It was delicious French wine and we spent quite some time talking.
He said to me, “Russ, you must understand that as a Frenchman I grew up with Jacque Cousteau as my hero, and I learned to love everything about the ocean that you too so clearly love.” But with a wry eye turned to stare at me he said, “If even 10% of what you say is true about how restoring the ocean pastures will manage so much of the world’s CO2 at such a low cost you will DESTROY our market, and thus I must tell you that we will oppose you!”
Ever since that day history clearly shows the opposition to the solution to the worlds menacing CO2 that I have been championing. Sadly the Paris COP21 meeting has manipulated the agenda to eliminate any and all information exchange and discussion of CO2 management via oceans and soils, the two largest and lowest cost natural carbon managing ecosystems on the planet. Although times have been very hard even desperate when the ‘climate gestapo’ held me and my tiny crew of plankton scientists at gunpoint while they destroyed our work, the work has gone on. The one thing these carbon banksters and their henchmen could never anticipate was that with my work the fish would come back in such astonishing overwhelming numbers. And one thing for certain is a billion fish cannot be wrong!
PS. Don’t think that the restoration of ocean pastures is the single ‘silver bullet’ to slay the beast of our emissions of too much CO2 in all of our yesterdays co2, today, and tomorrows. We still need to work to reduce our emissions by every means possible but a slow pace that places an emphasis on making money at the expense of saving the world is a certain prescription for failure.