A grim future on net zero
As we hurtle, driven by fear, and seemingly irreversibly, down the helter-skelter in our search for the holy grail of net zero carbon emissions thus solving the climate crisis and saving the planet, could someone please explain in plain English what net zero actually means and how we define successful achievement?
I have read some explanations which say it’s like running a bath, juggling turning on the taps with letting out the plug thus maintaining an optimal level of water in the bath. So, we either reduce carbon emissions or recapture them in some way to maintain the acceptable or liveable level.
I almost understand this but cannot for the life of me see how we can monitor, measure, or ensure compliance with this on a global scale; it seems to require universal and simultaneous juggling, so good luck with that. Am I alone in not quite getting it?
More worryingly, my research has also introduced me to “carbon credit futures” which are tradeable financial instruments to be bought and sold in the financial markets at agreed prices. As soon as money is involved, and the market makers and other money men arrive on the scene my fears increase exponentially.
I see a world of Collateralised Carbon Obligations, Carbon Swaps, etc, etc, apparently “sliced and diced” so there is no risk in the portfolio. I also see the opportunity for market manipulation, corruption and all sort of skullduggery generating vast ill-gotten gains for some at the expense of the rest of us who will have to continue to breathe the bad air.
It is said that history doesn’t repeat itself, but it quite often rhymes. Perhaps we should just be a little cautious about what we wish for.
Keith Swinley, Ayr

SAS Volunteer

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