Discover more from Pricing Nature
Episode 14: Kim Stanley Robinson, Kate Raworth, and Delton Chen Discuss "Carbon Currency"
Carbon Currency Part 2
Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
Will fighting climate change require restructuring the global economy? Is a “carbon currency” the most intuitive or efficient solution to the climate crisis? In the Season 2 finale, Casey chats with Kim Stanley Robinson (Author, The Ministry for the Future), Kate Raworth (Economist and Author, Doughnut Economics), and Delton Chen (Founder, Global Carbon Reward initiative) about the pros and cons of pursuing a global currency that rewards carbon emission reduction and sequestration.
On the power of carbon currency in a global climate crisis:
Kim Stanley Robinson: ‘Wet-bulb 35’ events are soon to come: combinations of heat and humidity so ferocious that people die in it, unless they're in air conditioning. This is the point of the spear, but there's any number of other catastrophic damages that are coming down the road. And when people begin to cast around for ‘what do we do,’ economics is crucial. There aren't that many reformist tools where we can use the system that we've already got and flip it so that the highest rate of return becomes doing good things for the biosphere.
On the need for outside-the-box solutions:
Kate Raworth: We are running down the living world, destroying species. We need to come back within planetary boundaries at the same time as meeting the unmet needs of billions of people worldwide. This is a double-whammy challenge -- it's never been taken on before.
On carbon currency as part of an economic carbon cycle:
Delton Chen: We were always consuming and burning organic matter. So we, as a civilization, are really like a respiring super-organism.
In a metaphorical or analogous way, what I'm arguing with the carbon currency is to create a parallel economy that plays the role, so to speak, of photosynthesis. That is, it's specialized for taking carbon out of the atmosphere, which would then rebalance the civilization in terms of its carbon balance.
Further reading on today’s episode:
The Ministry for the Future, Kim Stanley Robinson
The Global Carbon Reward, Delton Chen
Doughnut Economics, Kate Raworth
See Episode 13 for more background on carbon currency