villagers living along the edges of Mount Elgon National Park in east Uganda, the site of a Dutch-owned carbon offset project, have been beaten, shot at, and repeatedly denied access to their land by armed park rangers guarding the "carbon trees" inside the park.
The FACE (Forest Absorbing Carbon-dioxide Emissions) Foundation's carbon credits are sold to European offset companies with clients that include Amnesty International and the Body Shop.
Following the link to the report itself, which is available for download in full for free, we are greeted with the disheartening summary of the prevailing and failing policy imaginary: "As the urgency of climate change increases, so does reliance on 'market solutions' to deal with the problem." This despite the fact that while "[t]he carbon market nearly doubled in size from US$11 billion in 2005 to US$21.5 billion in 2006," there has been "no equivalent reduction in carbon emissions."
I mean, really!
As Olmstead tactfully concludes, "I mean, really," and then amplifies, "whether it's carbon offsets, biofuels, coal-to-liquid, whatever, how long will we continue to think that we can buy our way out of this mess? The cost of our refusal to make actual changes to our lifestyles is beyond our imagining." And how much more mind-boggling when one realizes just how few of the "lifestyle changes" involved would even demand anything like real sacrifice from anybody, even while these lifestyles aren't likely to survive the catastrophes they facilitate in any case? (Worried about losing your lifestyle to them meddling egghead Greens, Jack? Then you'll just love a life lived in the midst of rising tides, climate refugees, supply disruptions, infrastructure failures, and greenhouse storms!)