Presentation on theme: "Questioning the Earth’s Value A ground-rent approach proposing a carbon sink industry Michael Eldred, Cologne Prepared for 1st Intnl. Conference on Climate."— Presentation transcript:
Questioning the Earth’s Value A ground-rent approach proposing a carbon sink industry Michael Eldred, Cologne Prepared for 1st Intnl. Conference on Climate & Philosophy, University of South Florida, 14-16 Sept. 2006 Version 1.0 June 2006, Version 2.0 May 2008
Questioning the Earth’s Value zPutting the earth’s value into question means asking how the earth can have a value. zIn a world of globalized markets, value cannot be separated from market-value. zA market-value for the earth can only be made plausible by reviving and rethinking the category of ground-rent in political economy.
Questioning the Earth’s Value zReconsidering the category of ground-rent requires a radical rethinking of the category of value inherited from classical economics and Marx. zValue is ontologically ambivalent. It is a power over beings. zValue is also a way of esteeming beings.
Questioning the Earth’s Value zValuing the Earth through ground-rent does not have to mean merely exploiting the Earth. zValuing the Earth through ground-rent can mean esteeming the Earth. zThe Earth’s natural, renewable power to absorb carbon emissions can be esteemed by charging ground-rent on portions of the Earth’s surface.
Questioning the Earth’s Value zThe entire Earth’s surface, parcelled by international agreement, could enable each country to derive an annual rent. zInterventionist global political action ultimately cannot cope with the problem of carbon emissions. zA global, solely carbon emissions market cannot work, because it is not value-driven, but politically concocted by governments.
Questioning the Earth’s Value zA market approach to coping with carbon emissions depends on ingeniously ‘marketing’ the value of the Earth’s capacity to absorb carbon. zGovernments can oblige emitters of carbon worldwide (industry and consumers) to properly ‘dispose’ of their emissions. zProper ‘disposal’ of carbon emissions amounts to having to pay for carbon absorption.
Questioning the Earth’s Value zThe oceans, forests, steppes, in particular, are natural carbon sinks. zThe Earth’s natural carbon sinks can be enhanced by existing and yet-to-be-invented environmentally friendly technologies. zMarket-traded, natural and technologically enhanced carbon absorption can provide the basis for a global carbon sink industry in which also poor stakeholders could participate.
Questioning the Earth’s Value zA global carbon sink industry would value the Earth, esteeming it for simply being what it is. zHaving to pay for letting the Earth be would be a step toward humanity’s custodianship of the Earth and counteract its ongoing exploitation. Further details: Michael Eldred www.webcom.com/artefact/untpltcl/qstnerth.html