The Language we use: Carbon Metrics

The EAAA Newsletter actively seeks contributions from its membership. If you have a story about what is happening in your community irrespective of whether you live whether it is in Australia, Vietnam, Ghana or Malaysia, please send it in. [Yes, we do have members of the newsletter list from these areas]. The following story comes from Dr Johannes Bauer who lives at Oberon, NSW, who has a sizeable natural forest farm called 4Hills. Johannes is an environmental scientist. This is what he would like to say:

A Growing Unease!
Using markets to save our planet?


Johannes Bauer
Views from the 4Hills
16 February 2016

Having been involved, in fact been part of, our approaches to ‘carbon accounting’ at all levels in order to address the threat of a rapidly decaying and heating world, I confess to a growing unease about that metric system as it is being imposed on the environment. [The metric system referred to here will be explained in the accompanying story]. Nor is it the only one, just a further simplification as we progressively reduce our wild and wonderful world which nourishes us to ‘biodiversity’ and now ‘carbon’. We may ‘offset’ if it suits our ends, or at least is convenient. Could it be, I increasingly ask myself, that by applying ‘carbon metrics’ to a growing number of the environmental problems we have created we just continue to settle into a way of dealing with our growing impacts on our groaning planet which is possibly worse than what we have done already! Could it be that what we do now is going to end up as the biggest perversity and travesty of all, – and we have committed many – and locks us into something we cannot get out of. A world where the blind and utterly greedy and stupid market forces not just cause ‘World Economic Crises’ but put in place a system of environmental management which is run by stock markets and gamblers. We sure need accounting, reporting and verification, after all they have not been invented by economists. They are just common sense. But can we afford the markets as we have them as we implement the Paris Agreement.

I believe not! As the article by Moreno et al. (2016), a group of authors with better provenance than most, shows I am not the only one wondering. I suggest you read that article I have included below and make up your own mind. Talk to your friends about it too. People have to start thinking.

Article: Beyond Paris: avoiding the trap of carbon metrics

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