There has been a lot of talk recently about carbon offsets, a proposed mechanism whereby folks who cannot reduce their CO2 emissions can purchase shares in green organizations, who will reduce on their behalf.
It seems to me that this mechanism can only be of limited utility, because the behaviors of the green companies with carbon to sell can only do so much. Tree planting efforts, while laudable, result in increased water usage and the reduced availability of land cultivation; and other efforts are similarly green-ambiguous.
CO2 emissions are manifestly a problem of the developed / developing world; folks who live in impoverished, undeveloped countries do not have the “carbon footprint” of someone living in a wealthy Western nation, and they never will.
Much of the West’s goodwill is directed toward lifting these unfortunates out of poverty and helping them to enjoy the same high lifestyle that the West itself enjoys. However, this causes a problem: if these people are successfully raised out of poverty to become members of a modern industrial society, by necessity their carbon footprint will increase, thus causing the planet to burn up even faster because of Glourbal Worming. The humanitarian efforts of many to improve the lot of the world’s poor is in direct opposition with efforts to halt the increase in worldwide CO2 emissions.
Therefore I propose to start a company that will trade on the Green Stock Exchange; we shall sell shares, and use the proceeds to help prevent an increase in the global carbon footprint by hindering efforts to improve the material lot of poverty-stricken foreigners (“carbon targets”). These people will be encouraged to retain their reduced circumstances so as to not add to the planet’s carbon burden. In this way, an individual who purchases one of our offsets is truly purchasing the carbon emissions of another person, a person who, due to the efforts of our new company, will be prohibited from emitting carbon from any advanced, technological source.
If our carbon targets are allowed to increase their carbon footprints, company stock will be devalued and market share decreased. It is imperative that purchasers of our carbon offsets know that someone, somewhere, is suffering on their behalf. Thus, company funds will not be paid directly to our “carbon targets” because studies have shown that impoverished people often use money to buy cars or otherwise improve their lot in ways that are not carbon neutral. Instead, company resources will be directed towards sustenance and security efforts, to provide food to the poor so as to maintain (and perhaps increase) our stock of potential carbon targets, while ensuring that no unacceptable carbon upgrades occur within their lives. This “Buns and Guns” plan will ensure long-range viability for our new company.
We foresee a time when the worldwide supply of carbon targets will drop below the demand; under those circumstances, it may be possible to create entire new populations for exploitation through the application of “Bomb-Them-To-The-Stone-Age” technologies. These technologies are not currently available to private corporations, but it is hoped that future lobbying efforts will result in successful partnering with the necessary state agencies, resulting in new areas of corporate growth.
Anyway, that’s my business proposal. I’m accepting seed capital right now, so if you wish to participate, send a check or money order. (US Currency only , please.)