Everything but the (carbon) sink: “Missing carbon sink” drains credibility of carbon credit trading schemes

One of the world’s leading research authorities says that there is a big hole in the logic of carbon credit trading ideas being pushed by Europe and the Obama administration: the world’s carbon equation doesn’t add up.

The Woods Hole Research Centre, one of the world’s leading global environmental research centers., whose mandate is “protecting the integrity of the global environment” can’t find 2,900,000,000,000 kilograms of carbon that goes “missing” each year when they try to balance the world’s net carbon emissions. That is a very, very big number – so big in fact that it equals 90% of the net carbon emitted in the world. 

Global carbon balance equation: Woods Hole Research
 

Scientists speculate that the “missing carbon sink” as these sages call it, may be found somewhere in the western part of the northern hemisphere (Oh, Canada?), or in the tropical rainforests, or maybe somewhere in the oceans. Trouble is no-one has been able to observe where the supposedly emitted carbon is disappearing to – even after they’ve looked in all those spots.

This massive uncertainty reveals that we don’t even have a basic understanding yet of how the world’s atmospheric carbon balance really works. Yet the governments of most countries in the world have taken a deep draught from the green movement cup and decided we need to start trading in this stuff with real money. Call me old fashioned, but using real money to trade in a commodity we can’t measure with unknown supply and demand and no market pricing system sounds even dumber than paying bonuses on Wall Street out of tax dollars. Fact is, that’s more or less what we can expect will happen with carbon credits – Wall Street is going to make a fortune trading this stuff, and fraudsters will make a killing creating fake supplies of “sinks”. There are 2.9 trillion kilos of missing carbon sinks waiting to be claimed each and every year by the crafty. Someone’s going to get richer than Midas off this. Maybe we should wait until we plug the hole in the carbon sink before carbon credit trading is allowed to become the newest financial disaster. 

SOURCES:

Missing carbon sink:  http://www.whrc.org/carbon/missingc.htm

Rainforest sink: http://www.nature.com/climate/2007/0708/full/climate.2007.35.html

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