the 4th most abundant element in the universe by mass after
hydrogen, helium and oxygen. It
is ubiquitous in all known lifeforms, and in the human body it is the
second most abundant element by mass (about 18.5%) after oxygen. Carbon
is the sixth most abundant element by weight in the Earth's crust. This
abundance, together with the unique diversity of organic compounds and
their unusual polymer-forming ability at the temperatures commonly
encountered on Earth, make this element the chemical basis of all known
many ways we are Carbon Beings. Carbon molecules continually flow
through us and constantly transform within us. Our DNA, with all its
essential knowledge, is basically carbon. We exist because the activity
of the carbon within us is in certain harmony and balance with the greater flow of carbon
atoms on our planet and beyond. Without that harmony and balance we
cease to exist.
nitrogen cycle is a fusion reaction in our sun and generates the
some of the solar energy that enables us and it is the essence of many
of the great stars.
Carbon Beings, our every action alters and affects the balance and flow
of carbon on Earth. We are stewards of the carbon potential, whether we
like it or not. There is no such thing as carbon neutrality. We are a
constant interplay of carbon. To suggest our actions can ever be carbon
neutral is to deny our role as stewards within the carbon flux.
denial is endemic in Anglo-American societies and it is manifest in
notions that human beings can be carbon neutral and that we can
“offset” and “trade” away the impacts of our activities on the
carbon flows and balances.
instance, it is common to believe our action of extracting and burning a
fossil fuel can be “offset” or
“neutralized” by planting a tree. This represents a profound
denial of stewardship/change, for it ignores the geophysical reality
that the fossil fuel is a product of eons of change involving vast
forces during a period that may be unique in the life of our planet. Our
action of combusting fossil fuel destroys considerable elements of the carbon potential of our
children. This destruction occurs in a context in which it is probable
that the wealth in the fossil material could well be far more
critical to their survival than ours.
create vast and sophisticated systems based in this denial. The
rationales for these systems are elaborate and fatally flawed. Examples include Carbon
Trading systems (Emissions Trading Schemes) and notions that carbon
resources are energy. Carbon Trading is the purest manifestation of the
psychopathic elements we all retain. By ceding sovereignty, equity and
stewardship to a stateless group of merchant bankers we place humanity
at great peril.
in the denial are complex systems of self-hatred. This is symbolically
manifest in the notions that we must:
- “fight/kill/combat/stop carbon”;
- become “low carbon” and even “zero carbon”;
- try to be “carbon free”;
- and aspire to a “post carbon” state.
uses of the carbon symbol reveal self-deceit, hopelessness and
denial of life. Carbon is symbolized as a problem rather than a
wonderful resource that enables life. These uses reflect and generate
hopelessness because they destroy much of the potential of the carbon
symbol. In that potential is the awareness and knowledge that there
exists a multitude of sustaining uses of carbon. Currently we make only
primitive use of plants, fossil fuels and solar energy. We have barely
begun to use the potential of carbon for conserving electrical potential
and conducting electrical products, the storage of digital data, thermal
insulation and other great efficiencies.
It is not how much
carbon we use that matters but rather that we remain in harmony with the
universal carbon flux. Conserve the potential of our carbon symbol so
our children can better know the wonderful potential of their Carbon
the rewards of being a conservator of the potential of our greatest
re the Carbon Trading Ethos
Page last updated: