Carbon Trading

Avatar; indigenous peoples, carbon credits and the rainforest

I’m loving the commentaries that have evolved around Avatar’s themes of exploitation of natural resources, imperialism and biological diversity.

Libertarian blogger Stephen Kinsella argues here that it underscores his viewpoint that the movie demonstrates that property rights are the only way to protect the environment. Interestingly this is the logic of the UN’s REDD carbon trading scheme or to give it its long name, the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries. This is based – in theory at least – of forests having assigned carbon values and of local people having property rights over those resources. The “owners” are then rewarded for not chopping down trees.

Such solutions aren’t without their problems though. Aside for the more obvious problems of carbon credits – that they allow the industralised world to delay reducing their own emissions –  Global Witness point out in this report [PDF] that was published last October, this is an untested scheme that may well benefit Africa and South America’s kleptocrat rulers more than it does the environment, or the locals to whom this property has been assigned. Assigning property rights, suggests Global Witness, is part of the process of moving from an environment protected from logging, to a “sustainably managed” forest which allows logging to go ahead.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Avatar and the power of social media

I’m loving the commentaries that have evolved around Avatar’s themes of exploitation of natural resources, imperialism and biological diversity.

Libertarian blogger Stephen Kinsella argues here that it underscores his viewpoint that the movie demonstrates that property rights are the only way to protect the environment. Interestingly this is the logic of the UN’s REDD carbon trading scheme or to give it its long name, the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries. This is based – in theory at least – of forests having assigned carbon values and of local people having property rights over those resources. The “owners” are then rewarded for not chopping down trees.

Such solutions aren’t without their problems though. Aside for the more obvious problems of carbon credits – that they allow the industralised world to delay reducing their own emissions –  Global Witness point out in this report [PDF] that was published last October, this is an untested scheme that may well benefit Africa and South America’s kleptocrat rulers more than it does the environment, or the locals to whom this property has been assigned. Assigning property rights, suggests Global Witness, is part of the process of moving from an environment protected from logging, to a “sustainably managed” forest which allows logging to go ahead.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

16 ways to make your voice heard at COP15

In advance of COP15, there is a growing mass of intiatives binding us together to scare the negotiators into action.

They are in no particular order. Look down the list and find the ones that suit your own approach the best. Take part in as many as you have time for. Share them around.

Which ones have I left out? Drop me a line.

best-of-1TckTckTck The Global Citizens for Climate Action Campaign launched in August, partnered with Greenpeace, Christian Aid and Oxfam, counting us down from 100 days to COP15.

best-of-210:10 The 10:10 campaign launched off the back of Franny Armstrong’s Age of Stupid, focussing minds on cutting our emissions by 10% next year, but big on pressurising Ed Miliband to bring the goods from Copenhagen.

best3350.org Bill McKibben’s campaign to get world leaders to agree to a workable target of 350ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere plans for an international day of action on Oct 24.

best-4Vote Earth Off the back of the WWF’s Earth Hour campaign run back in March, the climate change charity have issued this global petition to world leaders.the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

best-5Sandbag “Real action on climate change” exploit the arcanities of Europe’s carbon trading schemes by  “retiring” surplus credits.  They also have a COP15 “One giant leap” petition they want you to sign.

best-6Seal the deal 2009 The UN’s European Climate Campaign, aims to create a “mosaic” of faces and voices with an online petition calling for change at Copenhagen. This is sTTThehe quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.fox. ome more invisible writing this is some invisible writing.
best-7Mobilization for Climate Justice North American coalition of activists pressing for a deal are planning major actions throughout the US on November 30. The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

best-8untitled7Never trust a COP … and for those who don’t have faith that the more conventional appeals above are going to work, here’s the radical leftists’ direct action network on COP15.

best-9Hopenhagen. A snappy web-based initiative that gives people the chance to come together over the question “What gives you hope?” Catch-all question that’s the start of a rolling social media campaign. 

best-10Avaaz.org Global Wake-Up Call Following a global poll, Avaaz.org now plan a day of flash mob action in towns and cities everywhere on Sept 21. Other campaigns to follow.

best-11Be that change | Get the PM to the UN. Excellently targetted campaign to ensure that UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown will be at COP15. He currently has no plans to attend.

best-12Stop Climate Chaos | The Wave Huge London demo scheduled for December 5 2009 to coincide with the start of COP15. Let’s not forget the old fashioned technique of actually coming together and marching.

best-13New Earth Deal Campaign organised by the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe to create support for COP15. In an era in which politicians lack the will to lead, they now set up their own petitions. Such as…

best-14Act on Copenhagen | Back the bid The UK government’s campaign to corral support for action at COP15. A government attempt to demonstrate that it has support for radical action at COP15 – should it chose to pursue it.

best-15Friends of the Earth | Demand Climate Change Friends of the Earth’s e-petition campaign to ensure that governments sign up to a 40% cut in emissions by 2020. “We will not accept anything less.”

best-16Operation Noah | Ark petition Faith based campaign with an original scheme. Build an origami ark and send it to Downing Street to make your voice heard.


Thanks to Susan Poupard and others for filling the gaps.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Eight Ten ways to make your voice heard at COP15

In advance of COP15, there is a growing mass of intiatives binding us together to scare the negotiators into action. Here are a some that are appearing loudly and clearly on the radar. Which ones have I left out? Drop me a line.

best-of-1TckTckTck The Global Citizens for Climate Action Campaign launched in August, partnered with Greenpeace, Christian Aid and Oxfam, counting us down from 100 days to COP15.

best-of-210:10 The 10:10 campaign launched off the back of Franny Armstrong’s Age of Stupid, focussing minds on cutting our emissions by 10% next year, but big on pressurising Ed Miliband to bring the goods from Copenhagen.

best3350.org Bill McKibben’s campaign to get world leaders to agree to a workable target of 350ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere plans for an international day of action on Oct 24.

best-4Vote Earth Off the back of the WWF’s Earth Hour campaign run back in March, the climate change charity have issued this global petition to world leaders.

best-5Sandbag “Real action on climate change” exploit the arcanities of Europe’s carbon trading schemes by  “retiring” surplus credits.  They also have a COP15 “One giant leap” petition they want you to sign.

best-6Seal the deal 2009 The UN’s European Climate Campaign, aims to create a “mosaic” of faces and voices with an online petition calling for change at Copenhagen. This is some more invisible writing this is some invisible writing.
best-7Mobilization for Climate Justice North American coalition of activists pressing for a deal are planning major actions throughout the US on November 30.

best-8untitled7Never trust a COP … and for those who don’t have faith that the more conventional appeals above are going to work, here’s the radical leftists’ direct action network on COP15.

Pretty much something for everybody there… Let us know which campaigns you think are working best.

Edit: More…

best-9Hopenhagen. A snappy web-based initiative that gives people the chance to come together over the question “What gives you hope?” [Thinks, possibly too sceptically:Is that kind of catch-all question really galvanising enough?]

And, this just in:

best-10Avaaz.org Global Wake-Up Call Following a global poll, Avaaz.org now plan a day of flash mob action in towns and cities everywhere on Sept 21.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

The logic of carbon trading

atreem

This is A.T.R.E.E.M (Automated Tree-Rental for Emission Encaging Machine) by Nitipak Samsen, a student at the Design Interactions course at the RCA in London. Samsen’s artwork is a satire on the notion of carbon credits: by measuring the girth of the tree, this meter purports to measure carbon the tree is capturing over its lifetime. “Carbon credit brings the ‘convenience’ back to the ‘inconvenient truth’,” announces Samsen, enthusiastically on his website.

See also Francesca Galeazzi’s artwork about justifying carbon offsetting.

Thanks to Groundswellblog.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology