Copenhagen forest-saving plans to create 'carbon refugees'
Treehugger scheme may mean 'humanitarian crisis'
Climate-change reduction measures to be debated at the imminent Copenhagen UN climate conference could cause a "humanitarian crisis" and create huge numbers of starving, homeless "carbon refugees" in poor nations, according to an Earth-sciences prof in Leeds.
The measures which concern Dr Simon Lewis - of the Earth and Biosphere Institute at Leeds uni - are known as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), intended to preserve forests around the world.
"Without careful planning REDD stands to create large numbers of 'carbon refugees' as governments curb financially unrewarding deforesting activities such as those of small-scale agriculturalist and fuel-wood harvesters who mostly pay no taxes on the products they produce," says the doc.
"Forest dwellers could be excluded from their means of subsistence to preserve carbon."
According to Lewis, there are 350 million people living in or dependent on tropical forests worldwide. He argues that if the proposed REDD carbon credits are to be paid, at least 50 per cent of the money should go to the forest dwellers themselves and their property/land rights should be guaranteed.
Whether that's politically realistic in all the countries he's talking about remains to be seen.
Dr Lewis makes his arguments in an article, Carbon emissions: the poorest forest dwellers could suffer, published yesterday in the heavyweight boffinry mag Nature (subscription required). ®
A conference in Copenhagen?
It's a lovely city, but... haven't these people heard of mailing lists and video-conferencing? What's with this ridiculous policy of holding endless bloody conferences with all their friends when there are perfectly good internet and telephone networks covering the globe?
How about these politicians and ecolytes cease flying hither and yon, polluting the planet while bruiting their hypocritical, unproven buillshit to all and sundry, shut the hell up, and save some damned carbon while they're at it?
It's worse than all those pop stars and other celebrities who rant on about how "just $20000 will sponsor a school in Africa!" (Is that all? Gosh! How convenient: YOU have far more money than that; how many schools are YOU going to save then, Mr. Bono?)
Carbon trading is futile
Its just another market where people pass around their 'carbon rights'.
What it doesn't do is reduce anything.
This whole carbon debate is fairly futile anyway given the religious nature its getting to.
Perhaps if we were looking at ways to cut out waste and encourage sustainability then it might work more, but there are too many people making too much money from killing the planet.
... Or the logging and burning could continue and all the forest people could live happily in their ash-filled wasteland of scorched tree stumps. Good thinking prof!