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Carbon Cycle Privatization
Bart Ron 31 March 2013
Transcript of Carbon Cycle Privatization
Privatization Conclusion And the money?
You get it. The way Economics fixes price is simple.
Make a rectangle of Volume Sold and Price.
Area=Volume Sold times Price
Raise the price until the area of the rectangle for the next additional unit of volume is smaller than the present area.
That is the Law of Supply and Demand.
The democracy of the Market determines fair price, not government fiat, but every person's individual choice. Will there be math? Every lucrative emission of CO2 ought be paid for, and the price ought be so high as the market will bear. Nonexcludables are too much trouble to use Capitalism to protect; such "Commons" are protected by other means.
We once treated CO2 levels as nonexcludable, but we can see this is no longer true; the Commons is no longer the right way to protect the rivalrous, limited Carbon Cycle resource.
In use of a scarce renewable resource, local custodians of that resource are expected to charge a fee to prevent its loss.
It is clear that CO2 level, or its renewal by the Carbon Cycle, is a scarce resource with limits, and so must be priced.
Think of how bandwidth pricing led to the growth of the cell phones industry and to smart phones and mobile tablets.. Cell phone prices vary widely, even though the same Physics controls radio waves everywhere.
Cell phone companies don't make bandwidth. They buy it in auction from the government (who also then tax its sale).
The mobile industry has both bandwidth pricing, and taxes on what they sell. That tax is a ratio set by government fiat.
Bandwidth price is set by the democracy of the Market.
We don't need to know CO2 limits, or harms of passing any one of them, only that there are limits, to find the price.
Capitalism fixes prices by Supply and Demand of individuals. The Principle I want my money How much? Economics studies how sharing of scarce resources by all affects human misery and satisfaction.
Environmental Economists consider also keeping local outdoors healthy, so the future will have at least as much to work with as the present.
Established wildlife -- even where wider interests compete -- is expected to be kept safe so far as possible, to avoid losing the wild world we rely on to live.
This is a moral basis of Adam Smith's Capitalism, a core ethic. Until recently, it was impossible to fairly charge for using the Carbon Cycle. We knew too little about who was putting carbon into the air. However, all nations now by treaty are tracking their 'equivalent carbon inventory', or CO2E index.
Once the government uses the CO2E index of fuels and captures the volume of fugitive emissions by all responsible owners of resources outside the normal Carbon Cycle, it simply charges the fee for using the Carbon Cycle on top of the sales of fuels and assessments of levies for utilities until Supply = Demand. Volume CO2E Emitted Carbon Price SUPPLY DEMAND Where Supply=Demand, the Market
sets the optimal efficient price by the
democratic choices of individual
buyers and sellers. Where carbon price is too low, Market opens to Free Riders.
This false low price is anti-democratic.
Choices of individual buyers and sellers are replaced by the
fiat of a fallible government.
Consumption runs away and waste and inefficiency result.
Sound familiar? Volume Sold times Price CO2E International trade will need to be rebalanced in the short term. Nations that dump goods by failing to price CO2E emissions will suffer tariff actions of international trade.
Infant industry insurance should support industries that must export to markets where goods are not priced for their CO2E. This way they can continue to compete fairly until the world prices stabilize as the market matures to the new pricing regime. All revenue goes to the owners of the Carbon Cycle Commons, which is every citizen, per capita. This revenue ceases the unconsented redistribution of natural wealth from the Commons to the Free Riders. Governments shouldn't touch these dividends. Prices for CO2E dependent goods would go up, that is true. The more intensely goods depend on CO2E, the more the price will rise. But for most of the market, prices will remain stable and buying power of 70% of individuals increases. This would amount to somewhere between $1,000 and $6,000 a year, income that you and every member of your family, on average, deserve but are not now receiving because your government is failing to act against theft, waste and inefficiency.
Who are the Free Riders? They tend to be those with the most wealth to spend on fossil fuel - more air travel, the fastest vehicles, goods shipped by the most expensive means. Carbon Cycle Pricing will cost the average person, overall, once all the price shocks move through the economy, about 35% of that additional dividend income.
That's right, you are being robbed of $650 to $4,200 a year per person in your family, on average. You're likely being robbed more if your income is less.
Who gets that money without Carbon Pricing? Free Riders, mainly, who waste most of it. Free Riders are people who find a niche where they can get away with benefiting from something without paying the full price. This leads to the Tragedy of the Commons.
After the price shocks work their way out of the system, new efficiencies are found by small changes in the choices people make.
Weaned off Free Riding, people will demand less CO2E emission. 130 ppmv - below this plants die of CO2 starvation.* 180 ppmv - lowest natural level of past 20,000,000 years 230 ppmv - average level of past 20,000,000 years 280 ppmv - peak natural level of past 20,000,000 years 400 ppmv - present day, due human activity 330 ppmv - Arctic ice & most glaciers start to melt fast 300 ppmv - plants and animals migrate to new areas 350 ppmv - risk of extreme weather increases
(We know this from Chaos Theory to a mathematical certainty, but not exactly what it means.) 450 ppmv - CO2 acts like steroids on plants & microbes 380 ppmv - sea level has risen 6" on average 480 ppmv - Arctic weather shift -> sea level rise booms where plants have ideal conditions, they thrive anyway
plants in areas with extreme conditions stressed anyway
plants in marginal conditions gain no benefit without fertilizer
reproductive success in the wild drops selectively
some plants outcompete their natural rivals unpredictably
result - plant variety loss and more costly fertilizer use 390 ppmv - clathrate thaw pumps methane stored over the course of 2 million years out of sea beds 365 ppmv - alkalinity loss due ocean carboxylic content 500 ppmv - CO2 crop benefit diminished returns The arrows show vectors of Risk. CO2 levels have been the same before in the Pliocene 2.6 million years ago when camels strode the 20°C warmer tundra and ten times or so the current level over 50 million years ago in a world unlike anything we know first hand. So we don't speak of certainty.
Restate scientific predictions by starting each with "Risk of.." and ending "..within a millennium," to come up with a vector.
We know the Risk is there - of species extinctions, increasing costs for farming and insurance, disasters big or small and business losses to each one of us.
We cannot predict exactly when these will arise, only that they must happen if the CO2 keeps rising.
And the burden of the Risk is unfairly distributed, too. Prices will then fall, so net revenues per capita will likely fall to about $30 to $200 per person per year in the average family*. CO2E emission falls some 70% due to the natural effects of making those who benefit from using the carbon cycle pay their fair share.
*Where does that $620 to $4,000 a year go?
It goes to market efficiency, the smoother running of the economy with distortion and wastage removed. Interest rates will fall, money supply increase, all without inflation.
As waste is squeezed out of the market economy, levels of unemployment decrease, buying power grows, and everyone benefits. The rising tide floats all boats.
That is Adam Smith's Capitalism at work, through the democracy of the fair market. CO2 in the atmosphere CO2 precursors in the atmosphere + heat, light & chemicals -> CO2 CO2 precursors in the soil and sea + heat & light go into atmosphere Organic carbon in animal & plant matter + soil & water microbes -> CO2 precursors Carbon from fossil sources + O2 burned as fuel -> CO2 in atmosphere Organic carbon trapped without oxygen or microbial action -> fossil carbon CO2 in the atmosphere + light + photosynthesis -> organic plant matter + O2 CO2 in air, water or soil + calcium form calcium carbonate -> limestone Limestone + extreme geological heat & pressure forms CO2
(pretty much the only part of the Carbon Cycle humans have nearly zero impact on) Organic plant matter eaten by animals +O2 -> organic animal matter & CO2 CO2 in the atmosphere + cold + water -> carboxylic acid
(reduces alkalinity of sea water - and sea life metabolites)
carboxylic acid + heat + increased CO2 partial pressure ...
a more hostile ocean for most things living there CO2 in the atmosphere + gaps in earth -> trapped CO2 gas CO2 in the atmosphere
is the "variable of interest". CO2 in the atmosphere's
level is determined as a complex
function of the Carbon Cycle. CO2 in the atmosphere
has risen from about 280 ppmv
to almost 400 ppmv in about 260 years. CO2 in the atmosphere's 40%
level rise has mostly happened
in the past century. CO2 in the atmosphere's rise from 280 ppm can all be attributed to human activity, but that is a simplification. CO2 in the atmosphere can rise
and fall naturally, too. CO2 in the air is replaced by CO2 from other sources rapidly, such as by exchanges with the carbon held in living things or in sea water.
There is no direct way to measure the 'residence time' of CO2 we emit, and the mathematics to approximate it is very advanced and in dispute.
The best guess?
Natural geological processes will create new fossil fuel reserves before the CO2 level we cause now finally is eliminated from the atmosphere. CO2 in the atmosphere has also had a
level rise from 180 ppmv to 280 ppmv
-- but that took over 20,000 years.
(Almost 100 times slower rate of rise.) Our knowledge of the Carbon Cycle comes from:
millions of recent direct observations over decades
dozens of proxies covering over 10,000 years
a few ice core measurements for 800,000 years
geological inference covering millions of years The rise from 180 ppmv to 280-300 ppmv has happened eight times in the last 800,000 years.
CO2 stopped rising at 280-300 ppmv each time.
CO2 stayed at a 280-300 ppmv level for tens of thousands of years each of these eight times before falling to 180 ppmv and stayed at that bottom level for roughly the same length of time, when the cycle rose again each time. 800,000 years 180 ppmv 260 years 395 ppmv We would expect zero natural CO2 rise in the atmosphere at this point in the apparent 100,000 year cycle.
Instead we have a rise larger than has happened for millions of years, a hundred times faster than any global rise before. 240 ppmv - runaway ice age threshold 305 ppmv - highest exceptional CO2 level before 1750 We all own this Carbon Cycle equally from birth. If we use it the same amount, if sharing its value is fair, then we get the same benefit of buying and burning carbon fuels.
We'd all gain. Is that what you see? http://prezi.com/dcih2_eqhffw/co2e-poaching/ 280 ppmv (also called "Fee and Dividend") Most people emit very little CO2 and gain little profit. A lucrative few emit most CO2 and gain huge unearned profits.
The Carbon Cycle recycling their waste costs us all for their abuse. Many emit more than they need to or gain from.
They pay nothing to waste. Despite unproven industry claims
saying how much it would cost to 'get off oil' and how cheap coal is,
cutting back on carbon burning is
by far the lower cost way forward. dwarf plants lose dwarf trait due CO2 hormone effects - some people use this to claim fake "benefits of CO2" by comparing to normal dwarf plants in lower CO2. Natural weighted variability at peak CO2: 280ppmv 99.99%-305 ppmv 0.01% If the big guy does it, why shouldn't we? Looked at another way, because the Carbon Cycle isn't priced, all that money just vanishes: we lose it all, and much more.
Any honest Economist would immediately know that this loss outweighs the cost of converting to a lower-carbon economy.
Pricing the Carbon Cycle -- any Fee and Dividend plan fit for a nation (http://www.citizensclimatelobby.org/) -- brings fairness, stimulates new invention, drives innovation, cuts waste and creates new money.
New. Money. Thank you for your attention.
Please take the time to comment on this work in progress. How much CO2E do we add to the air, in commonplace terms?
Take a new standard pencil, and a fresh pad of 8.5"x11" paper.
Cover a whole page with pencil. Fill in each page of the pad one by one until the pencil runs out.
Every decade we emit enough CO2E to darken every 8.5"x11" piece of the sky that much. This is not just a metaphor.
The ratio of graphite in clay in a pencil lead over 8.5"x11" of paper is like both the mass of carbon and the degree of darkening in the Infrared (IR) spectrum very closely.
That darkening, invisible to the human eye, is what diverts (by the same Physics as gives blue eyes their color) and retains more and more outgoing IR radiation after the sun's light is absorbed and released by the Earth's surface. We're about triple the CO2 minimum level plants need.
We're over double the historic CO2 minimum.
We can't know what our world might look like tomorrow because it's never been like this before.
What consideration is fair for this new uncertainty?
What process fair to obtain consent for more?
Why ought we not demand to be paid by those who are confiscating our certainties and safety?
How cheap our rights, if we surrender them without so much as a word of protest.
Where is our sense of responsibility? http://regions20.org ...and much more on the way. CO2 in the atmosphere is called by some a "trace" gas because it is only about 0.04% of the atmosphere.
However, CO2 is the key component of the Carbon Cycle, which we rely on for all life. Liebig's "law of the minimum" tells us plants stop gaining benefit from other nutrients that exceed the benefit given by the least plentiful (i.e. minimum) nutrient.
CO2 is both the nutrient all organic carbon comes from and a plant hormone modifier. The higher the CO2 level, the less like food and more like a steroid it behaves.
Right now, CO2 is far above the minimum, and mainly acts on plant hormones.
So while CO2 seems to defy Liebig's law by making some parts of plants bolt, just like illegal steroids do for cheating athletes, to get real benefit from CO2 takes artifical fertilizer too. CO2 we directly emit into the atmosphere is only about 3% of CO2 from all natural sources every year.
However, it's 3% the natural sources can't balance.
Like an out-of-balance long term loan, that 3%, or the part of it the natural Carbon Cycle cannot cope with, compounds more rapidly than a straight line over many years. This is not about taxing fossil fuel.
State 'fiat' tax takes from you to give spending power to someone else in place of your choice, or gives unearned money to those who have not given anything to the Economy.
Privatization grows a Market, so lowers tax. *(Using baseline CO2 levels. CO2 varies widely above these levels by time of day, season and region depending on many conditions.) Well, I benefit. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c9/Co2_glacial_cycles_800k.png ..actually.. it looks more like this, in detail 395 This line represents the 15-20 million years since CO2 is known to have been higher than it is now. http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Building_the_demand_curve $ $ The 'free lunch' for business goes against the interest of society, the poor, workers, and the economy.
Subsidies -- visible and hidden, direct and indirect -- on fossil fuels at many levels, paid from taxes, often exceed the revenue collected by retail fuel tax (most originally set to pay for road building) on balance.
Many fuel taxes have fallen for decades,
faster by far than any other tax drop. How are the Commons protected?
In England in the 1500's, one caught poisoning the town well could be boiled alive for it.
Today, abuse of the Commons is more likely to be the subject of committee "command and control" regulation or Pigouvian "sin tax" by the state and court action.
These are all much more expensive and less efficient than a Capitalist fair market. Free Riding Hand Out Carbon reserves are precious raw materials for plastics, fertilizer, other industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
What a shame to burn them when we are about to need all of these more than ever. It's about your 'excludable', 'rivalrous' Carbon Cycle 'Commons'.
People who use up the Carbon Cycle to make money are rivals to you; what they use up to make money, you lose forever.
The Market can tell those who use up the Carbon Cycle to pay a fee, and exclude them from the Carbon Cycle if they don't pay you.
This is called 'privatization', and cures the 'Tragedy of the Commons' every time. It's the only lasting treatment.
When a 'Tragedy' goes untreated only two things ever happen:
You lose your Commons, or the Market collapses. Because the Carbon Cycle is shared without payment, the wealth of most funnels to a few Free Riders, with no compensation, consent or like benefit* returned to the many.
"In fact, failing to 'tax' away the scarcity rents to nature and letting them accrue as unearned income to the favoured individuals has long been a primary source of resentment and social conflict." (H.E. Daly (2002) Sustainable Development: Definitions, Principles, Policies.)
*By hundreds or thousands of dollars a year per person. A long tradition of lobbying by industry and social movements has replaced the economic idea of efficient power with belief "cheap energy" (fossil fuel subsidy) is good for society, or for the poor, or for the economy.
None of this 'free lunch' belief has grounding or proof in Economics. Almost all of it benefits the fossil fuel industry and its close dependent businesses while hurting farming, innovation, cities, education, health.. ..and road building? That's mostly paid for by tax from government general revenues like taxes on clothes and books, computers and telecommunication..
..including paying for toxic asphalt, a partly volatile waste product of oil refining.
Tax payers pay oil companies to haul crude waste from the oil companies and dump it under children's feet for petroleum-powered vehicles to use, where it breaks down and partly evaporates into the air we breath. Most research funds for 'alternate' energy throughout the world (including shameful biofuel schemes) also end up diverted to fossil fuel industry or its close dependents' control.
This is not an accidental synergy, but an intrinsic subsidy built into the economy over generations of lobbying and influence by design, more benefit that is not paid for by Free Riders.
(http://epresearchfoundation.wordpress.com/) http://www.c2es.org/testimony/claussen/9.15.09 Schematic of Antarctic CO2 Millennial Epicycle This is about you telling the Market, not the state telling you through committee, command or direct control. The total of direct subsidies to the fossil industry and its dependents like the automotive industry and biofuel schemes?
Worldwide, about $100 per person every year, and rising.
You can multiply that by ten, if you're American.
Indirect subsidies are a multiple of that figure. The pattern of CO2 in the air in the past million years roughly followed a dot on a 100 ppmv diameter wheel rolling on top of a 180 ppmv surface. Until now. CO2 can alter physical conditions that influence the Carbon Cycle by causing cloud, water vapour and surface albedo (reflection) feedbacks mostly by moving the dynamic equilibrium of GHG water vapour higher, shifting the proportion of particulate water in air, driving circulation and blocking with more power, moving low altitude multi-year or summer ice to higher altitudes or melting it entirely, and changing precipitation patterns. Or we continue to live at the expense of future generations. Technical solutions are possible, far better than what we have now.
Why would any but the most motivated few pay for these new innovations, while forced to drag around the ball and chain of subsidizing artificially low prices for obsolete commodities to the exclusive benefit of a small group of free riders?
Imagine the talent pool that would be gained without this deterent. Solar cells cost so much more energy to produce than they can generate in a year that they're of limited use in providing energy.
Solar concentrators have very short term pay off and can scale well from city down to single family needs.
But the sun doesn't shine all the time. The sun doesn't shine always everywhere when needed most.
Geothermal and ocean power work in places to provide power, competitively and with relatively low impact, but at steady state: during times of day with low demand, the excess is wasted.
For the short term, in the place the power is generated, conversion to hydrogen is a workable, economic, attractive, underexploited storage opportunity.
Storing hydrogen is difficult over long periods and transporting hydrogen is expensive over long distances.
However, converted to carbamide, hydrogen is much cheaper, safer, more easily transported and longer-storing than any petrochemical.
http://www.zerofuel.org/uploads/ZeroFueldownload_1_.pdf Wind near the surface provides too little power to be very interesting except in a few locations favoured by geography.
Wind even as little as a few hundred meters above the surface provides double or triple that energy, but still isn't available all the time.
Wind in the jetstream can provide 90% reliability and many times the power. The technology to convert sunlight, wind, tides, current and geothermal power to usable, portable form and store excess from peak production time to satisfy low-production time demand exists and is getting better rapidly.
All the pieces are there, albeit slowed by our hamstrung market for innovation, using only established conventional technology.
Imagine what we will do when the next generation of technology matures?
Technology, like a tree, grows the way it leans. The sooner a nation gets off fossil fuel, the more it will lead the world in technology advantage. What is missing is the political will to end subsidy to obsolete fossil technology and prepare for a world where the distribution of power is different, more personal, more individual, and less easy to control.
What is missing is the political ambition to lead the world, and political sense of duty to live up to the obligation the builders of our nations handed down to us. Why pick on CO2?
Why not water (H2O)? That comes from burning oil too.
It's a Greenhouse gas (GHG). It's a more potent GHG than CO2, much more able to warm air.
H2O has a mean non-feedback residency of a few days in the atmosphere.
The air has its own ways of eliminating H2O, due to H2O's high temperature of condensation.
CO2 doesn't rain out of the air.
CO2 is called the control knob of H2O greenhouse effect (GHE) warming.
In just a quarter century, relative humidity globally has risen 2% due to CO2. While I don't fully share all the views of all the people I cite in this presentation (any more than I expect they share all mine), I find them worth listening to, and I thank them for being part of the solution.
For technical support for the statements of fact in this presentation, please refer to qualified resources and check their claims so skeptically as you deem right.
If you find my facts err, please let me know in the comment section, and cite your source. This is not about Global Warming or Climate Change.
You don't need to know much about science, or predict temperature, to see people are unhappy with the way things are going right now. Climate Change as a symptom of the Carbon Cycle Tragedy appears to be a 'Gordion Knot' of tightly tied, old, complex problems that are painful to work out and pull in many different directions.
Treat the root cause, the thing that for a quarter of a millennium has been making CO2 rise, first; slice through the 'knot', or no matter what symptom you fix, the cause remains. CO2 is also a major part of other effects proven to have significant global impacts on living systems:
an acidizing chemical,
powerful plant hormone modifier,
broad absorber and diffuser of infrared radiation;
correlated with many other types of pollution. Many steps in the Carbon Cycle have no direct human influence, but do go through changes because of indirect influences, such as land use, other pollution and higher CO2 levels. Switch from mixed forest with deep-rooted trees to crops, and 'botanical sequestration' of carbon drops dramatically.
The land stops capturing and storing CO2.
Switch from wild field plants to manicured lawns, and the drop is just as dramatic. Introduce non-native earthworms that aerate and digest formerly still soil, and you shift the CO2 balance, too. PPMV stands for Parts Per Million Volume The poorest of the poor will only benefit from Carbon Cycle privatization, as they are endemically the lowest emitters of CO2E, hence among the most deprived by lack of Carbon Pricing. http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/materials-based-on-reports/booklets/warming_world_final.pdf "Carefully designed experimental studies in the lab have enabled us to test precise combinations of structural variables to find that isolated, anonymous individuals overharvest from common-pool resources.. Large studies of irrigation systems in Nepal and forests around the world challenge the presumption that governments always do a better job than users in organizing and protecting important resources." http://bnp.binghamton.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Ostrom-2010-Polycentric-Governance.pdf The Carbon Cycle is a model. It shows biology and chemistry moving carbon between gas and solid states, changing its value.
Carbon exchanges rise from the power of fluids to dissolve gases more or less under varying conditions, or action of animals, fungi, microbes, plants, light, rock, volcanoes, fire, machines or industry.
While often drawn as a circle of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in four parts, the Carbon Cycle is a chain of states, complex as a symphony.
To now, we've been downloading our CO2 free. (http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/4454156/Frankel_NaturalResource.pdf) http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2010/mar/22/climate-change-uncertainty This is not about buying coal or oil.
People already pay for that.
Pricing CO2 lowers the long run real cost of carbon reserves, pushing waste out of the Market and reducing 'Resource Curse'. http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2012/20120330_SlovenianPresident.pdf Is vegetation sparse or stunted at such low levels of CO2 in the wild?
We just don't know.
But it sounds like an interesting experiment. How did plant eaters do in such conditions? Well, there were the great wooly mammoths, but we really have far too little data to speculate. 390 ppmv CO2 - Pliocene Maximum The Arctic was 20°C warmer at the Pliocene Maximum