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The new horse trading is carbon

Most of us grew up watching Saturday morning westerns like ˜The Lone Ranger”, ˜Poncho and Cisco” and ˜Roy Rogers”. These cowboys did not have much money but they always seemed to have horses to swap. When they wanted a new saddle or rifle a horse trader would come along and they would try to make best deal they could – silver for horseflesh. The new global currency looks like it is going to be carbon.In 1997 the United Nations held a meeting in Kyoto, Japan. As part of that meeting the industrialized countries agreed to reduce their emission of greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide being one of them. Greenhouse gasses are produced by industry and naturally by volcanoes, animals and plants. The excess generation of these gasses through human activities has lead to the greenhouse effect, which in turn causes global warming.Greenhouse gasses act like a blanket, which traps heat inside the atmosphere causing a general increase in global temperature. The results of this have been a rise in ocean temperature, shifts in animal and plant distributions, changes in global weather patterns and the metling of the polar ice caps.The agreement, reached by 38 nations, was to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases from their 1990 level by eight percent between 2008 and 2012. The United States is not part of this agreement. It was left up to each nation or group of nations how they would implement the reduction. This protocol is currently in effect.Governments of the European Union started issuing allowances to firms that produce greenhouse gases this year. The majority of these allowances will be free but governments could choose to sell up to five percent of them. These allowances are like cash because companies who do not use all their allowances could sell them on the open market to companies who are running out.Companies who produce more greenhouse gases than the allowances authorize, both allotted and purchased, will be fined. The net effect of this bill is to make it not cost effective for companies to pollute. It can only be hoped that the fine of 100 euros per ton of excess CO2 after 2008 will be enough to make companies think twice.The State of California and Great Britain are going around President Bush’s approach to global warming and are forming their own pact. The plan of the pact is to limit greenhouse gases by finding a profitable way to limit their emissions. Since California was the 12th largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world this is probably a good idea.If you look to the future countries of India and China are both set to out consume us in oil and out pollute us in carbon emissions. This future is only a very few years away. Even though the United States did not sign the Kyoto Protocol ˜more than two dozen states have taken voluntary action to reduce carbon emissions”. These states are said to be looking at trading emissions with European countries if necessary. This is not viewed by these states as a disagreement with the federal government’s policy. These states feel it is in their best interest to follow the Kyoto protocol guidelines. Plus, if they do not use their allotted quota they can sell it to the highest bidder anywhere on the planet. This is an example of the new global economy based on ecological need not capital generation.I do not know about you but I think the Lone Ranger might have yelled ˜Hi oh, Silver away” about this.

Think Global – Act Local!

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