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Carbon Standard 300/30 Story part 1

Carbon Standard 300/30 Story part 5

Phew! You are on the last part of this story!

The reason that there was a news blackout, was because of the amount of money committed to wind farms and the treasury was hell bent on raising taxes by persecuting the gas guzzlers in a sort of ecomorality campaign. When along comes a Bishop who said the best way to save the planet, was to drive an old Rolls Royce. Well they couldn’t allow that sort of thing now could they!!

This, as it turned out was a blessing, because it allowed the Carbon Standard 300/30 to develop slowly.
Information behaves a bit like water, in that it follows the easiest route downhill, pausing occasionally to form puddles, that are then breached as the water level rises and flows on with a wave like flourish, until the next barrier and so on.

The first people to sign up, were farmers, land owners like the National Trust, People with large estates, Seaside Resorts and even people with modest gardens. The word about the Bishops Mark spread quickly, and visitors from all over the world, visited Wells and the Bishops Palace, They too wanted to sign up to the Carbon Standard, not because they really understood it, but because it seemed like a good thing to do.

This amount of interest created a shortage of land, committed to the Carbon Standard, and so the obvious solution, was once you had bought yourself a share in a Mark and got a steady supply of liquitricity to use as you needed, in the way that suited you. You needed a bank so you could start building up some carbon reserves, i.e. some land. This problem was solved by farmers, many of whom had large debts of funny money, by selling of shares in the land they owned, to establish country clubs.

This was in essence the birth of what was called “Proper Capitalism”. As opposed to the Robber Baron system that had evolved into the Benterprise approach, by getting governments to pass laws to protect the Loot, then tax increasingly impoverished citizens so that they could win more lucrative contracts that were then guaranteed by the same government. As usual greed collapsed the system under what became known as the P.F.I. ( Property Filching Initiative ) and the country had loads of new schools and hospitals, but because of the huge rents paid in unbreakable contracts, there was no money to operate them and they were mothballed.

The country clubs recognised that you cannot be a capitalist if you don’t have any capital.

So members of the country clubs could buy or rent land that was managed by the farmer under a custodial agreement, so that they would get the carbon capture credits and the produce. This meant that even people who lived in flats could own the land and enjoy the food. The farmers paid off their debts and moved out of the subsidy system. Country Clubs proved very popular, as people could visit their own estate and enjoy being outside and socialising with other owners.

Land was sold initially at £10,000 per hectare, and shares were issued at one square metre which meant that a share cost a pound, so everyone could afford to join. Country Club members paid a maintenance fee to the farmer, but got the produce and the carbon credits to trade among themselves, via an Instant Settlement Market set up on the internet. The country clubs then developed kitchens to make ready meals and also storage so the members could buy small amounts of staple foods at close to wholesale prices.

Fortunately at this time Tesco was being shanghaied in China and had its eye on the balls up rather than the ball!!

Time out. We leave our story for a few paragraphs.

Discipline is a prerequisite for any form or structure to maintain its integrity, this applies without exception, without it structures, organisations and lifeforms become prey to disease, predation and extinction. The area in human affairs that is least disciplined is commerce, in commerce behaviour that would be unacceptable in any other arena is justified by the statement “Well business is business.“

As an Industrial Ecologist, I am not an expert, but to me expertise is more than gaining a qualification, it is experience in applying the knowledge learned. Having worked for just short of twenty years as a croupier, I claim some expertise in this area.

I will illustrate with the example of a table game called Roulette. There are three sides involved, Players, Dealers ( Croupiers ) and the House ( Casino Owner ).
In the competitive model the dealers and the house merge into one side and try to win money from the players. This short term approach is ably illustrated by the last casino I worked in where despite there being only one other casino within thirty miles, the average daily attendance from members dropped from over three hundred in 2000 to less than thirty in 2005. This was in spite of resistance from experienced staff, who have now all left bar two.

In the custodial model, the house understands that in order to collect its 2.7% share of the money wagered on the Roulette table (Commonly referred to as “Money for old Rope “.) it needs players to enjoy the experience and the best way is to look after the customers by providing professional staff who are dedicated to running the game but indifferent to the result. For example a major player who visits occasionally may have a winning streak that lasts for two or three years. But this does not matter as long as there are sufficient major players for the mathematics to work. It does create a virtuous circle for the house, as seeing players win encourages more people to play.

The essence of the custodial business model gives its operator considerable advantage in an otherwise level playing field. Namely; Loyalty, Recommendation, Repeat Business, Trust and Reputation. This is only possible if you have discipline.

I would like to emphasise the point with another simple example. If you put a bird feeder in your garden, you will attract birds, which give you pleasure as you watch them feed. Birds are discerning creatures and they will select the seeds they like and throw the ones they don’t like on the ground. The seeds on the ground will attract rats and other vermin, and before you know it, you have to call the pest control people to get rid of the rats.

The pest man will tell you to stop feeding the birds while he puts down poisoned food for the rats, and you get to see no birds feeding and poisoned rats dying a lingering death on your lawn. If you are honest with yourself, you will conclude that it was your fault, because you did not maintain discipline in the feeding of birds, you encouraged the rats and lost the birds.

The same lack of discipline applies to commerce. Crime is encouraged, by the subsidy of illegality and poor control of the food supply ( i.e. money supply ).

Back to the story.

The issuing of Carbon Credits had to be trusted by the members of the country clubs, i.e. they had to have faith in the structure of the system and to be certain that people were not cheating. This was accomplished by the use of what became called “Clever Carbon.”

The Carbon content of land was audited at the same time each year; this gave an amount of carbon against which carbon credits could be issued. The unit of currency was called the “Carbogram” or Cs for short. It had a similar way of working to money, but being the representation of a commodity, there was no way that it could be classed as money. This point was contested in court on several occasions, and each time it was ruled that Carbograms were not money for precisely that reason.

The other way that Carbograms were not like money, was because they were clever. Each Carbogram had a serial number, which referred to which piece of land it was issued against. It also knew who owned it and who had owned it. This meant that any member could look on the internet and know how many Carbograms that were issued and who owned them. This level of discipline, eliminated theft, owing to the fact that if you did steal Carbograms, they would incriminate you and if you had not transacted properly, you could not spend them anyway!!

Clever Carbon was one of the first streamlined developments in the fact that it was essentially over built for doing its normal function, creating less drag, but rising to the challenge shouldthe need arise. The streamlined nature of natural design was increasingly incorporated into industrial design as the century progressed.

Green Coal had a few teething problems, by lack of discipline in ensuring that all the quality controls were met, contaminating land with too much Aluminium. This again illustrated the need for streamlining.
What people did was fail to grasp, how the way in which coal was burnt, affected the composition of the mineral ash produced. This was done by focusing on two key ratios, the Mineral Carbon Ratio and the Sulphur Carbon Ratio.

When coal is formed from many generations of trees, certain elements accumulate, while others recycle. If you take Aluminium as an example in a Willow tree ash there over seven hundred times less Aluminium than in the same amount of Coal Ash. The Aluminium in the form of Aluminium oxide is separated from the ash as it does not dissolve in water, and the Aluminium can be produced as ingots by electrolysis in the normal fashion.

This is another example of streamlined design in industrial systems. However early in the twenty first century, the bean counters were still in positions of power, cutting costs and rationalising things so that their books looked good. The upshot of this false economy was they failed to invest the necessary amounts to make mineral ash containing elements in the right proportions. The law suits that followed, were swifter and the penalties harsher than usual, as the health of Country Club members, who took the whole thing a lot more seriously, as they ate the food they produced, were showing improvements in memory and the incidence of diabetes, heart disease and cancers, compared to the general population.

With the extra money heading their way, the Church Commissioners, were able to catch up with their property maintenance schedule that was running about two hundred years late. The Great Hall at the Bishops Palace was repaired and with the Cathedral next door, Wells became the venue of choice for celebrity weddings.

The Bishop was instrumental in setting up the Green Priest Organisation, which was the first global non-denominational religious organisation that encouraged priests and their opposite numbers from different faiths to act together in their local areas for the benefit of the local population. Green Priest was popular with the locals, however those higher up the ladder who had always insisted that their faith was the only true one, were not amused. He succeeded in provoking a crisis, which was something; he had wanted to do for years!!

The Green Garage also went from strength to strength, and as people got into retrofitting new things into old cars. By 2020 you could design your own car and get it built for less than the cost of a new model.
Gradually as all these developments came together, mankind began to move towards a symbiotic relationship between himself, morality, commerce and the Earth.

There were lots of other things going on the planet during these times, and it is worth noting two of them.

The War on War.

As everyone now knows, the biggest technological advance of the twenty first century was the rise of robotics, which was, as with most things originally funded by the military. The military is divided into two parts, the thinkers and the doers. The thinkers, wanting a better sort of soldier, one that did not think, want to be paid, was more powerful and easier to repair, favoured robot soldiers. The doers did not, as they would have to fight these things, lose their lives and or jobs.

The first robot soldier was unveiled as a security guard in South Korea, which would patrol industrial estates without sneaking off for a kip at three in the morning. It was fitted with a pair of lightweight Gatling guns, and could be given orders, verbally down a secure mobile phone link.

This phone link, like all such things, was not as secure as the word secure implies. Criminal gangs who were having a bit of a spat in a turf war over protection rackets, dialled up the robot and told it to assassinate the opposition. This it did, but shot all of the staff and diners in the restaurant, as well as the target gang, owing to what became known as “ Fat Tongue Syndrome “ after “ Fat Finger Syndrome” which had caused several financial bloodbaths in Stock Exchanges by pushing two keys on a keyboard instead of one. The fat tongue in this case was “Make sure you get all of them.”

News of this incident reached the ears of assassins, who recognising the threat to their livelihoods put contracts out on the projects directors, who were terminated in a more traditional fashion. Newton’s laws when applied to people, tend to work rather better than when applied to inanimate objects. Energy is sucked in from the ether and you get an increase in the forces pushing against each other, which is known as escalation.

The Robotics company increased security, and moved all staff into the compound, and had robots patrolling the perimeter. The Assassins weighed up the situation and decided that they needed reinforcements. Some of them had served in the military, before getting a pay rise by going private, and the word went out.

The technology of war had developed to such an extent in the previous century, that it had left its mark in the psyche of soldiers, anything that would make the meat grinder of technological warfare more powerful and deadly was not to be encouraged. The reaction through the ranks of the armies of the world was universal. The enlisted men said “Sod that for a game of soldiers.” The officers said “Hey chaps, things are looking a bit dicey.”

The result was after a little while the robots went on the rampage at the factory, destroying it and the people working there and then themselves, with last robot standing committing suicide, after receiving a message on its mobile phone.

Nobody was ever caught for this malfunction, and to be honest, nobody tried very hard to find a culprit. The military around the world formed an organisation called “Universal Soldier “ after the song written by Buffy Sainte-Marie in the basement of the Purple Onion coffee house in Toronto in the early 1960s. Donovan had a hit with it in 1965. Universal Soldier was half union and half peace movement. The increased survival and decreased injury rates for military personnel, made them more attract to the opposite sex, this was called the WOW factor, with the slogan “ Wear a purple onion not a purple heart.“ struck even more chords with people than the song had in the previous century. The robots that were permitted, were small, weak and not allowed to operate heavy machinery!! For a few years at least!

The Space Program.

Even though the Carbon Standard was proving popular, it was not enough on its own to cope with climate change, being as it was in the early stages of growth. It did get a boost from the great inflation that lasted from 2010 till 2012, when in terms of funny money, the price of carbon credits rose sharply.
In 2012 there was the Lolo ( Big Bust, in case you had forgotten!! ). When the global credit bubble finally burst, economic activity ground to a halt, as it does in these situations, except of course in the instant settlement markets at the country clubs, where there was no credit in the first place.

As the depression set in, a phenomena known as Global Dimming when into reverse as the clouds of pollution from industry were washed from the sky and global warming accelerated at a pace faster than the computer models had predicted. The sea levels started to rise and flooding increased as well as worse weather. The bit that was not predicted, however was that as the glaciers melted, all that weight that used to be pressing down on Greenland was not there and so Greenland started to rise. The tectonic plates, which float on the molten magma became more unstable and there were more earthquakes. The other thing was that as Greenland went up, other lands went down.

This was most noticeable in the Caribbean and Western Pacific. The phenomenon of sinking land, rather than rising sea levels has been around as long as there has been sea. In the early 21st century, the rising tide, precipitated as rising tide of refugees, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to find somewhere to put them, without adversely affecting the indigenous population. Governments responded by asking people to make sacrifices for the sake of humanity etc, etc but what with the Lolo and the depression that followed, there was very little that they had not sacrificed already.

There was one wealthy man, who on hearing the news that his resort island in the Caribbean had submerged in a week, and having taken a financial bath, decided to take a nice warm proper bath with lots of bubbles and scented candles. He had a Eureka moment with a piece of Pumice stone, owing to the fact that Pumice floats and is made by volcanoes. Thus the phrase “They are not making land anymore ” was consigned to the dustbin of “Don’t mention “ at dinner parties, and pretty much everywhere else.

The first of these virgin territories, was made from a Hawaiian volcano, and by blowing air into the molten lava and cooling it in the sea, a floating island could be made quickly and cheaply. The first one was called New Tuvalu and given to the displaced people from Tuvalu as this man had a feel for good public relations. In fact these islands became hugely desirable because by the simple fact that they floated, they were Tsunami proof.

So this new land became more desirable than the old land. A huge fortune was made, and because they were floated in international waters, they were run on proper capitalist lines and were tax free states. This of course upset, governments and estate agents, so an international law was passed, so that no more could be made, on the grounds that by displacing the seawater used to make them float, they were causing sea levels to rise faster than would otherwise be the case. This also gave the governments the opportunity to introduce new taxes on anything that floated. This tax was called FART ( Floating Adjustable Rate Tax ), and it was raised in line with sea levels rather than fictitious statistics of imagined rates of inflation, as was the usual method.

As you can imagine it caused a bit of a stink, proving more unpopular than the Poll Tax, thus prompting the formation of the GTU, ( Global Taxpayers Union ) which orchestrated the first of many tax strikes, based on the idea of cutting out the Meddlemen to boost prosperity, in the same way that businesses had cut out the middlemen in the previous century.

At the time the manufacture of floating Islands was banned, five hundred had been built, and with an average population of 10,000, their contribution to solving the refugee problem was considered a drop in the ocean!!

One of the spinoffs from the development of floating islands was the redevelopment of the Seaplane, because of the simple fact you did not need to build airports. The other aspect to Seaplane development was the use of the Reactionless Drive that had been developed by Professor Eric Laithwaite and demonstrated at the Royal Institution in 1973 and strangled at birth by the scientific priesthood, in the Herodic tradition. Not needing propellers or jets, Seaplanes became a viable and robust way to get around and became very popular.

The next natural development in the search for more space, was to try to get a few people into space itself. How to do this had been documented by Gerard K. O’Neill in his book “The High Frontier “ which was first published in the1970s. So unlike the Star Trek vision of exploring strange new worlds, and annoying as many lifeforms as possible. The main driver was creating a more comfortable lifestyle and the possibility of zero gravity sex, which made it a career choice for many teenagers as soon as they reached puberty!!

There was also the technology to deliver “Space Cred “ thanks to the Reactionless Drive. Space cred was like street cred, in that you need to have the right gear or people will laugh at you and not want to play with you, or let you join their gang. Just as wearing the right trainers is essential to get street cred, flying the right sort of spaceship is essential to get space cred.

Young people are concerned about how they look, this very important to them and so they fretted that if they met any aliens up in space, and were flying something so totally gross as a rocket powered spaceship. Rockets having been developed by the Chinese, some five thousand years previously, the aliens would laugh at them, not want to play with them and not let the join their gang.

The Reactionless Drive, meant no messy exhaust gases, and thus plenty of space cred. It also made getting into orbit cheap and easy, which is why governments had always stuck with rockets.

The first Colony was established at the point L5 in 2028. And just in time as it turned out. The first large meteor to be on course to hit the Earth was spotted early in 2029 and the colonists completely mined it for raw materials and by the time it passed the Moon it had been transformed into the second Colony and was parked at point L4, deftly turning a huge problem into a giant opportunity.

The colonists also erected space mirrors to reduce the amount of radiation reaching the Earth, and this was the turning point, in the battle to prevent the climate becoming irreversibly altered. They were also able to use the mirrors to defuse some of the superstorms that were becoming all too frequent, as well as manipulate rainfall to encourage the regrowth of the Amazon and other rainforests that had been felled to grow biofuels. Slowly but surely the Earths climate began to heal, Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets began to reform, people saw “the light at the end of the tunnel “ and the mood became more optimistic. By 2050 people were ready to party!!

If you have managed to read this story, I hope you enjoyed at least some of it and that it made you smile sometimes. I thank you for your curiosity.

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Carbon Standard 300/30 Story part 1

Carbon Standard 300/30 Story part 5