Originally designed for the Office of the New
Zealand Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment. Posted
Ultimately our capacity for acceptance of
stewardship/change arises from our greater being, which includes our
vast subconscious. Thus what really matters is what we actually do and
whether or not we actually conserve resources and sustaining balances.
Our conscious rationales are of relatively minor import because thought
is trace element of our greater being.
Thought is very limited and cannot, for instance,
Also the sustainability of our thought process is
easily diminished the ingenuity of our ego and our incredible capacity
Mindful of these caveats on intellectual discussion
here are some thought experiments for believers in what is currently
symbolised as “Carbon Trading”.
Carbon trading has existed for as long as human
beings have existed. Food, wood and our bodies are all carbon forms, as
are diamonds and fossil fuels. The current extremely narrow definition
of carbon trading as “Market-driven” trades in credits and debits of
gaseous carbon emissions is a very recent phenomenon. The thought
experiment involves asking the question, “ Could Carbon Trading
actually be an example of our potential fatal capacity for self-deceit
with the associated denial of stewardship/ change?
Here are some sample questions for the exercise.
Question. What are the origins of this
limited use of the “carbon trading” symbol?
If the answer is, “I do not know” then ask, “Why don’t I
Hint. This use of the “carbon trading”
symbol arose in the 1970s in the United States concurrent with the
arising of the belief in “Market driven” solutions to all problems.
Question. What has happened to gross
indicators of the sustainability of the US economy such as US debt
levels, wealth disparity and US fossil fuel reserves under this regime?
Question. What are the origins of the
international adoption in the Market Trading system?
If the answer is, “I do not know” then ask, “Why don’t I
Hint. In the early 1990s Enron was the
largest corporation in the USA trading carbon (mineral gas and wood in
particular) and Bulk-generated electrical products. It was also
developing EnronOnline, the first web-based transaction system that
allowed buyers and sellers to buy, sell, and trade all manner of
commodity products globally. Enron’s management perceived that their
mineral gas assets would appreciate compared to the coal assets of their
competitors and they could control global carbon trades using EronOnline
if Carbon Trading was adopted at Kyoto. They successfully coopted
President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore plus environmental
NGOs such as the EDF to push for a Carbon Trading regime to be adopted
at Kyoto. With the support of “market-driven” countries like New
Zealand they were successful in blocking the movement towards taxes on
carbon emissions and promoting the institution of the Carbon Trading
regime instead. Enron documents record that Enron executives considered
their success at Kyoto as being “beyond their wildest dreams”.
In 2001 Enron collapsed in the biggest corporate
failure in the history of the USA as a result of corrupt trading
Question. What parallels exist between the
current Electrical Trading and Carbon Trading schemes?
Hint. Both have “caps”, both involve
traders who benefit from any trade regardless of its sustainability and
both affect different strata of society in unequal ways.
Hint. Watch the movie Enron
– the Smartest Guys in the Room to see live coverage of
this trading ethos in action as the Enron traders “game” negawatts.
Question. What is the impact of the Carbon
Trading regime on the capacity of the individual citizen for acceptance
of stewardship/change? Have I asked this question before and if not, why
Hint. Carbon trading has existed on scale
for a century now in the form of mineral oil trading. In this regime the
“mineral oil market” primarily determines the value of this carbon
based material. It is arguable that the prices set by this market vastly
undervalue mineral oil and promote wasteful and polluting uses that put
us all at major risk of war, disease and famine as the mineral becomes
depleted. The small group of extremely powerful traders who dominate
this market are able to exploit the regime to actively punish individual
stewardship of the mineral and enhance the psychopathic activities of
Question. How true are the claims that the
Carbon Trading regime is designed to provide transparent economics?
Hint. The trade in pollution permits, like
modern trades in electrical products, minerals and other commodities are
subject to intense speculation in the form of derivatives trading. The
overwhelming evidence from the 2008 implosion of Anglo-American
economies is that no one understands how these derivatives trades work.
Psychoanalysis of such trades indicates they are profound manifestations
of the human capacity for psychosis and pyschopathy.
Hint. A tenement of believers in the Carbon
Trading ethos is that it provides transparency. The first test of the
New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) was the completely secretive
Government-Comalco deal in 2008 in which the Government agency, Meridian
Energy, ceded half of New Zealand’s hydro-electrical capacity to
Comalco till 2030. Citizens have no knowledge of the details of this
“commercially sensitive deal” and it is almost certain its leaves
individual citizens to pay for the pollution from thermal plant.
Question. All human beings are capable of
incredible self-deceit and denial of their role as stewards amidst the
universal flux. Have I explored the possibility that my belief in the
Carbon Trading regime is basically a self-deceit? If not, why not?
Hint. Our use of symbols or language reveals
much about our greater unconscious being.
Subsidiary question. Does the language of Carbon
Trading tend to evidence denial of stewardship/change?
Hint. Such language is characterised by
schisms in person’s perceptions of their responsibility for their
actions, blame transference and denial of existence of fundamental
states of change.
Question. What is the impact of the Carbon
Trading regime on the levels of science in our communities? Have I asked
this question before and if not, why not? Who has asked this question?
Hint. The experience of the state of science
suggests the Conservation Principle of Energy is a wise guide. The
principle advises us to following:
* Existence is characterised by energy that is bounteous in nature.
* Existence is continually transforming i.e. subject to continual
* Forms exist while there is a transient balance in the change and tend
to cease exist when this balance of change ceases.
* Human beings are transient forms, integral to the universal flux.
Sample prime symbol uses commonly propagated by the
Carbon Trading regime include the following
Carbon = carbon
pollution (Reality: carbon is manifest in myriad forms
and is a fundamental building block of all life forms.)
Warming = warming up
(Reality: these are entirely different states of change, the former
involving no temperature change and the latter involving temperature
= greenhouse world (Reality:
unlike greenhouses, Earth’s atmosphere is a highly dynamic and organic
system characterised by a very powerful capacity for thermal
greenhouse gases = carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide (Reality:
without the Warmer Trace Gases the average temperature of Earth’s
surface would be about 33ºC cooler. Water
vapour is responsible for most of this warming effect i.e. about
Question. Would traders accord water vapour a more dominant
role if they could commodity it and trade water vapour derivatives?)
save/conserve energy (Reality: human beings can neither
save nor conserve energy – we can only work to conserve resources and
vital balances and flows of energy.
exists (Reality: any use of carbon alters the balances
and flows of carbon.)
Humans can offset
their use of carbon using Carbon Trading (Reality: almost
all such trades involve the combustion of fossil fuel. These constitute
extremely valuable and limited carbon forms that are the consequence of
a unique combination of factors occurring for eons in the existence of
the Earth. It is impossible for human beings to offset their combustion
and consequent destruction of fossil fuels)
The Carbon Market = the trade of carbon emissions
permits. (Reality: carbon exists in many forms and all trades of them
constitute carbon markets.
Carbon Trading =
stewardship of the atmosphere. (Reality: the evidence of
millennia of research into psychology, including recent increasing
“market failure” and increasing air pollution does not support this
These samples of symbol uses generated by the
Carbon Trading regime all tend to work to destroy the state of science
in our communities in general and our schools in particular.
The Office of the New Zealand Commissioner for the
Environment inspired this page. The PCE Office played a pivotal role in
ensuring the formal adoption of the Carbon Trading regime in New Zealand
in 2008 and actively promotes its embedment in our national fabric. For
instance the PCE Office has played a pivotal role in promoting a
national environmental education resource in all New Zealand schools
The resource is a very well intentioned endeavour
but kind intentions are not sufficient for our activities to be
sustainable. This is because our
best intentions can easily be subverted by the ingenuity of self-deceit.
Enviroschools is characterised by a lack of stewardship of Earth’s
atmosphere and its fundamental framing almost entirely omits the role of
air in our lives. Is this a coincidence in a nation ruled by the Carbon
Trading regime that has one of the highest increases in air pollution
per capita in the world?
Here are two bonus questions for the PCE Office.
Question. Have I ever questioned our use of
the “environment” symbol? If not, why not?
Hint. The restricted association of the environment
symbol is a recent social phenomenon of the last half-century. This
narrow use was born of a reaction to the excesses of the Industrial
Revolution. What is the psychology involved? How sustainable is
behaviour born of reactions to perceived excesses?
How might this narrow ecological use of the environment symbol
resonate and impact on our perceptions of change and the role of human
beings within the universal flux?
Question. What do the concepts of
“negawatts” and “carbon offsetting” have in common? What do the
NZ Electricity Industry Reforms and the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme have
Hint. Both involve measures of energy
efficiency. “Negawatts” are typically units of electricity “not
used” that can be traded. Carbon offsets involve the trade of carbon
not emitted into the atmosphere. What flaws exist in such a notion of
Hint. A common belief exists, often
reflected in national legislation, that individual citizens are
incapable of making wise decisions and only an entity called “The
Market” can sustain human life. What flaws exist in this psychology?
of the Carbon symbol