Carbon…Essential for life?
How much is too much? Carbon, one of the world’s fastest quantity growing elements in life.
Carbon is essential for life, being one of the four major life depending elements. Almost everything you see contains carbon, for carbon can create chains with itself and join together with almost every other element. Even Earths atmosphere requires carbon. But, with the expanding industries and the more technological appliances, they require more energy to function, which means they exhale carbon dioxide, which then goes into the atmosphere. Scientist have said there are 172 BPM of carbon dioxide in the air, and that we should be around 150 BMP, this means, that the US would have to go down by 80% in their carbon emission by the year 2050.
This to the US is a big deal, they were looking for solutions when the Cap and Trade Solution was brought up by Enron and Goldman Sachs. This solution proposed putting a “cap” hence the name on carbon emissions. With the cap established, only a few indicated permits are produced, which then are sold to industries. These permits allow only a certain limit of carbon dioxide production, which will drive industries on looking for cleaner ways to produce energy. So far, the United Nations has approved, but looking closer to the details, they found 3 “devils” or draw backs to this plan, according to Annie Leonard.
These three drawbacks include Free Permits, Offsetting, and Distraction. Free Permits, or sometimes called the Cap and Giveaway consists on giving free permits to industries, it says that industries deserve a certain amount of permits depending on the companies size. Many people say that the permits could be sold, not given. With the money collected, it could go to various projects including creating a clean energy economy, giving dividend to citizens, and paying back our ecological debt. Offsetting says that industries that claim on reducing carbon emissions could not be proven.
Industries could lie, and say they are removing carbon dioxide, but no one could prove it. Therefore industries make more money without really doing much. The third “devil”, said to be the biggest is Distraction. According to Leonard, there are real solutions out there, but the Cap and Trade have hypnotized citizens, making them believe that the only good, beneficial, and real solution is theirs. Many people are not on board the Cap and Trade Solution, including Kristie Pelletier. She believes that carbon is essential for life, which it is, but she argues that no amount of carbon dioxide is too much, we could produce all the carbon dioxide we want without harming the environment.
Pelletier says that plants will control the amount of carbon dioxide, as it always has during history. Plants and animals have an active relationship, or cycle. One cant live without the other. Animals produce carbon dioxide, but require oxygen, while plants produce oxygen, and require carbon dioxide. The US, in 2009 passed the “Clean Air Act”, which declared carbon a pollutant. Many arguments have been made, declaring that carbon is essential for life, therefore it can’t be a pollutant.
While others say that while carbon is a pollutant, it doesn’t decrease the fact that is essential. If you ask me, I believe that whether carbon is a pollutant or not, its reluctant. It doesn’t really matter, declaring it something will not take carbons job away. So, who is right? Is the Cap and Trade Solution ideal? Does the amount of carbon emissions really matter? Will plants be able to cope with the amount of carbon in the air, or will they become overwhelmed? The Cap and Trade is not the ideal solution, but it’s the best solution we have so far. We should still evaluate and come up with alternatives, ones that don’t put the future of our planet on two multibillionaire companies. Plants do control a certain amount of carbon, but even nature can become overwhelmed.
We are producing too much carbon, even though its essential for life, we have too much of it. Help the government decide, get active and let your voice be heard. After all you live on the planet being affected. Be part of the decision, inform yourself and help your government do what you think is right.