carbon markets

The Forest Mafia: How Scammers Steal Millions Through Carbon Markets

When the balding Australian first stepped off the riverboat and into the isolated pocket of northeastern Peru’s Amazon jungle in 2010, he had what seemed like a noble, if quixotic, business plan.

An ambitious real estate developer, David Nilsson hoped to ink joint venture agreements with the regional government of Loreto province and the leaders of the indigenous Matses community to preserve vast thickets of the tribe’s remote rainforest. Under a global carbon-trading program, he wished to sell shares of the forest’s carbon credits to businesses that hope to mitigate, or offset, their air pollution.

Located a six-day ride from the frontier city of Iquitos, the jungle’s vegetation, soils, and looming trees store an immense amount of carbon dioxide—roughly one ton, the equivalent of one UN-backed carbon credit, per tree.

In an ideal scenario, this is how it’s supposed to work: A community in a developing country works with an NGO or developer to design a plan to protect a large swathe of forest and thus prevent the release of the harmful chemical compound into the atmosphere, in accordance with the United Nations’ program called REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation). Then, it can get the emissions reductions certified by a third-party auditor and sell the resulting carbon credits to corporations in developed countries interested in reducing their own carbon footprints. (Deforestation accounts for roughly 17 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions.)

Nilsson’s Hong Kong-based company, Sustainable Carbon Resources Limited, planned to help the indigenous community set up the Peruvian carbon credit project in exchange for sharing the profits once they were sold. If Nilsson’s plan worked, in theory the forest would be spared from loggers, his company would net some profit, and the indigenous community would receive millions of dollars in funding for education and medical care from investors and corporations interested in expanding sustainability and social responsibility efforts.  

Nilsson recruited Dan Pantone, an Iquitos-based American ecologist with close contacts in the Matses community, as a guide to show him around the jungle, and, more importantly, introduce him to the right decision-makers.

“[Nilsson] told me, ‘You’re going to be a millionaire in a year,’” Pantone said of his earliest phone conversation. “He said he was going to help the indigenous people.”

Early on, Nilsson didn’t seem particularly interested in hammering out the details of a potential forest project.

Read more. [Image: Rebecca Spooner/Survival International]


I spent all my life as a wine consultant, tasting, buying and selling wine and spirits. Teaching people a lifestyle, how to live well. I was very good at this job, so much it drained my soul especially during the holiday season.
It took years of shedding my soul of marketing and public relations to see what life was about. Not until I became a beekeeper did I achieve my inner peace.
Bees came into my life four years ago as a swarm, and with this gift I became a beekeeper. Not the honey for money guy you see at the market but the passionate advocate of my winged friends. Teaching responsible beekeeping consumed my life. Finding a balance between helping them and allowing them to find there own way.
Only in the past few years have bees given me honey, wax and propolis. I received these gifts with awe and incorporated them into my life. Toothpaste, mouthwashes, creams, hair pomade, wood wax, mead, and candles to name a few. You name it and I make it.
What I learned from these products is the simplicity of life, how I wasn’t an inventor, but just exploring techniques and ingredients that were in use by common house holds less than a few hundred years ago. Where you made what you needed without a carbon footprint, preservatives and marketing machines.
Beekeeping has changed the way I live. I am far from being granola but I have a learned a respect for the planet, its inhabitants and my small part I play here. I never thought much about legacy and what it means to have the gift of life. But I can tell you I am a better person for taking a step back and looking at life from the eyes of a selfless insect.

Lip balm and rough spot suave
¼ cup bees wax
¼ coconut oil
¼ Shea butter
One or two drops of lanolin
4 vitamin E gel tabs squeezed of the contents
10 - 15 drops of essential oil

Melt everything except the E and essential oil in a double boiler. I use an old espresso milk frother dedicated for my wax melting and mixing.
Add the Vit E and essential oil of your choice at the last minute to preserve its potency.

I use only vanilla, propolis or lemongrass for my oil. You can buy metal tins, lip balm containers or use used Altoid Smalls containers.

Enjoy and live life well.

“The idea that capitalism and only capitalism can save the world from a (climate) crisis created by capitalism is no longer an abstract theory; it’s a hypothesis that has been tested and retested in the real world. We are now able to set theory aside and take a hard look at the results: at the celebrities and media conglomerates that were supposed to model chic green lifestyles who have long since moved on to the next fad; at the green products that were shunted to the back of the supermarket shelves at the first signs of recession; at the venture capitalists who were supposed to bankroll a parade of innovation but have come up far short; at the fraud-infested, boom-and-bust carbon market that has failed miserably to lower emissions; at the natural gas sector that was supposed to be our bridge to renewables but ended up devouring much of the market instead. And most of all, at the parade of billionaires who were going to invent a new form of enlightened capitalism but that, on second thought, the old was just too profitable to surrender. … There is plenty of room to make a profit in a zero-carbon economy; but the profit motive is not going to be the midwife for that great transformation.”

- Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything: Capitalism v The Climate


Old Waco House by David Lilly
Via Flickr:
This is an old Victorian home in Waco, Texas built about the turn of the last century but being restored now. Inside are a number of period pieces of furniture sitting in rooms with 10’ high ceilings, wonderful old creaky stairs, etc. Many such houses are in various states of repair/dispair in the city of Waco. Dr Pepper is a carbonated soft drink marketed as having a unique flavor. The drink was created in the 1880s by Charles Alderton in Waco, Texas and first served around 1885. Baylor University (Source of Baylor Medical School and of Women’s Basketball Championship fame) was founded in 1845 in Waco. The home shown above might have been a professors or administrators residence at one time.

The idea that only capitalism can save the world from a crisis it created is no longer an abstract theory; it’s a hypothesis that has been tested in the real world. We can now take a hard look at the results: at the green products shunted to the back of the supermarket shelves at the first signs of recession; at the venture capitalists who were meant to bankroll a parade of innovation but have come up far short; at the fraud-infested, boom-and-bust carbon market that has failed to cut emissions. And, most of all, at the billionaires (such as Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg) who were going to invent a new form of enlightened capitalism but decided, on second thoughts, that the old one was just too profitable to surrender.
—  Naomi Klein, ‘The hypocrisy behind the big business climate change battle’, The Guardian

anonymous asked:

I'm sure you've probably talked about this. But could you explain the carbon tax?

helpful if you could be more specific but i’ll give it a general shot. several of the provinces already have carbon taxes (bc, alberta, qc) or cap and trade (ontario, imo a much worse method), collectively known as “carbon pricing” at varying levels of dollars per tonne of carbon. the trudeau government has announced that there will be a national carbon pricing minimum starting at $10/tonne in 2018, rising $10 each year until it will be $50/tonne in 2022. each province can implement its own pricing scheme (tax or cap and trade) provided it keeps these minimums. if the province doesn’t implement carbon pricing the federal government will do it for them and return them the revenues. there’s pushback from provinces that either do not currently have carbon pricing (saskatchewan in particular) or have plans for lower minimums than the federally mandated ones in the future (alberta).

while pricing carbon is necessary to fight climate change, unfortunately it’s not enough. the free market is moving at a snail’s pace regarding alternative energy and is still heavily invested in fossil fuels. this necessitates rapid government action not just in the market (carbon pricing) but in production. this is where the slogan “keep it in the ground” comes from. because even with carbon pricing, fossil fuels will likely remain much more profitable for private compaines to invest in for the foreseeable future than renewable energy. this means to tackle climate change the government has to eliminate current subsidies for fossil fuels, stop building new fossil fuel projects and infrastructure, and subsidize or build renewable projects and infrastructure (the latter is my strong preference. if the government is spending billions in subsidies why on earth give it away to private companies who will then charge astronomical rates. why not have renewable energy be publicly owned and ensure climate change adapation doesn’t push the costs on the poor).

so sadly while the trudeau government is doing well enough on the carbon pricing front, their actions on production completely contradict or cancel out the carbon pricing. you can’t build new pipelines and natural gas terminals while also pricing carbon and expect to significantly reduce carbon emissions. instead the companies that have sunk resources into these projects will become invested in their maintenance and profitability and fight increases in carbon pricing politically while passing the costs on to the customer.

hope this helped, let me know if there’s anything more specific you want to know