Review of Earth: The Sequel [ETS]
Fred Krupp and Miriam Horn

Review of ETS--Revision 1: 20th October 2011. By: G. Haven d'Amaury III

This is the best original book ever written on the danger of losing money and human lives from potential disaster. These disasters are expected from the build-up of atmospheric pollution, mostly CO2, caused by burning fossil fuels, ie oil, natural gas and coal. Fred Krupp and Miriam Horn’s best idea is to create an “emissions-cap-trading-system” [ECTS].  ECTS would channel money toward reducing pollution, by establishing a standard measure of the rate of pollution, for every firm. Then, any firm that emits less pollution than their previously established standard could claim a free credit, which they could then sell on.  Firms that kept on emitting pollution, over their previously established standard, would have their bank accounts automatically debited. Of course, they could compensate their loss, at least to some extent, by purchasing another firm’s credits.

The clever part of ECTS is that it sets a monetary value on pollution (originally about $21/ton of CO2, now raised to up-to $3k/ton).  This pays money, ie makes a profit for firms, which pollute less, and charges money, ie causes a reduction in profit for firms which pollute more. The price-per-unit of pollution would be arrived at by negotiation between the sellers and buyers just like any other market. Firms can earn money by lowering their own pollution so they can collect a credit, or avoid some costs by buying credits. Obviously, it would be rational to buy credits, if that is cheaper than doing whatever would have to be done to lower their pollution emissions.  Whoever finds a way, no matter how or by whom, of reducing their pollution, would be financially better off.  And, the entire world is less likely to be damaged by global warming caused by pollution, now about $90k/person/year, based on 30tons/person/year in USA. For a typical family of five this means $450k/year. China is expected to reach this per-person level by 2021. With their population, six times the cost of the USA to Worldwide GNP!
Many countries in Europe have already set up ECTS, which should result in an overall reduction of pollution.  It is a little too early to be sure this is actually happening, or will happen soon enough to significantly reduce the problem for Earth.  Even if ECTS succeeds, the effect on the World will be limited if the United States does not do it also.  And, obviously, it is unlikely that any other major polluting country will create or join ECTS, unless and until the United States also does so. 
ECTS is not a tax-based system. In the case of proposed tax-based systems, there could be huge incentive to avoid accepting or paying taxes. And, there is also a perfect excuse for opposing taxes, which known to be used, sometimes, to support and enrich 1) lazy, incompetent and cheating people [b*****ds], by robbing those who are 2) hard-working, competent and honest [decent] people.  Some tax-based systems, created by legislators, are also used to pay b*****ds to vote for legislators, also paid exclusively from decent people’s taxes, to keep the same legislators in office. 

Fred Krupp and Miriam Horn do mention alternative, tax-based, systems, but do not flag this objection.  Overall, I have to agree that they are most likely to be right, and their ECTS is more likely to be adopted, and thus succeed.  It should be easy to judge in the next couple of years if it is working well enough to justify continuing to try.  I think there are enough decent people in political circles who understand what is at stake; to make sure ECTS is implemented.  I hope they understand it soon enough.

In addition, with ECTS, Krupp and Horn seem to have found many firms which have proposed solutions likely to help the situation and likely to gain sufficient financial support to try to implement their ideas. Not every idea is likely to work, but some are almost certain to help the situation.  If ECTS is implemented, the reward for those who succeed will be extremely high and those who fail will not lose much.

The main point is that everybody on Earth will benefit, if enough ideas succeed, in time to avoid disaster.  Nobody knows now (for sure) what has to be done, or how much, or how soon. The only thing inevitable is that if not enough is attempted: 1) soon enough, 2) and enough succeeds, 3) soon enough, 4) an incredible disaster will occur, 5) for everybody on Earth. 

Earth: The Sequel does not establish very well what scale of reduction of pollution emissions is required nor how soon it is necessary.  Neither the level of success expected, nor when it is likely to happen, is established either. 

Another book I have reviewed, called Plan B3.0 by Lester Brown (President of Earth Policy Institute) suggests an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions is necessary, by 2020.  Brown also quotes Stephen Pacala and Robert Socolow, at Princeton University, who showed, in 2004, that annual carbon emissions could be held at 7 billion [b] tons instead rising to 14b over the next 50 years, as would happen with business as usual. The goal of Pacala, an ecologist, and Socolow, an engineer, was to prevent CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, then near 375 ppm, from rising above 500 ppm. Subsequently, in Plan B3.0, Lester Brown proposed that CO2 concentrations should be lowered to 400 ppm.

My firm, Real Div Lifestyles[RDL], targets reductions in emissions at
90%, but specifically based on detailed plans of specific action by over 80 million people, thousands of firms and hundreds of Joint Ventures by Joint Venture Partners involved in designing and building cities in specific locations in specific countries between 2012 and 2030. For example, this applies primarily to people living in a system of proposed new cities, called Utopia. Utopia will be distributed over most countries of all six Continents and some major islands.  Fifty thousand people, on average, will live, work and learn in each of the 899 Utopia. In total, 44,950,000 people, each person saving an average 9 tons/year, totaling 404,550,000 tons/year. Over the next 22 years, reductions add up over the final 20 years, during which an average of half the Utopia are completed over the years 2013 to 2029.  This means ten times the annual reduction rate, ie 4.5b tons, which continues year after year, thereafter.

(Addendum: RDL proposes several additional Mini-
Utopia-Villages/Utopia, for approximately 2500 additional houses/Utopia, each Village near and associated with a Utopium. Ie, raising the total for houses/Utopium, from 18,750 to 21,250 -- from the Utopia total of 19,103,750 to 21,351,250 houses).

The GaviHas system has also been added to RDL's Projects to provide Alpha type homes not, necessarily, incorporated into 
Utopia or Mini-Utopia-Villages. GaviHas homes can be driven, moved or towed on roads while occupied, or converted to public-transport-bus and/or delivery-vans [ZCpv]. This makes the number of Zero-CO2 houses 10% higher, ie from 21,351,250 to 24,386,375. The estimate is that 5% (1,067,562), will be new independent, private houses for an average of four persons per house, 4% (852,609) will be additional (ie second) houses (for travel, vacations, rental or investment) owned by existing Utopian, residents and 1% (213,512) will be converted to ZCpv.

In addition to providing video-conferencing-capable communication facilities at homes, which reduce the need to commute by car to work or school, RDL's Plan is also supported by designing and building 32 million [m] 10 passenger, aircraft, called Gavin Hawks.  These are refueled at homes and
Utopia micro-airports by locally produced hydrogen; using solar, wind and other locally generated electricity, to electrolyze water. Gavin Hawks can be used instead of 64m cars, carrying up to 96m people/day. And, saving them from double the risk of road deaths and injuries w/exposure to $232billions [b] in medical and other associated costs.  This is instead of converting cars to hydrogen fuel, which can only be used on roads and refueled at roadside petrol/diesel/gasoline filling stations. This also saves up-to-$1000b to rebuild the fuel distribution systems to handle hydrogen distribution from plants to convert natural gas to hydrogen and distributed and store it at filling stations, plus other unknown costs which may, or may not, be expended to try to sequester and somehow bury the CO2 released.

Of course, there are many things about
Utopia, which could (and mostly should) be adopted by firms and people not under any direct control of, or influence from, RDL. RDL offers to help them adopt similar measures anywhere in the World.

Copyright  ® 2008, 2011 ad     By: Gavin Embry