The Atmosphere Business

A special issue of the academic journal “Ephemera” entitled “The Atmosphere Business” from what appears to be at first glance (correct me if I got this wrong) a moderate-left perspective. According to the product description at Amazon, it

question[s] the underlying ideologies and assumptions of carbon markets, and bring to light many of the contradictions and antagonisms that are currently at the heart of ‘climate capitalism’. They offer a critical assessment of the political economy of carbon trading, and a detailed understanding of how these newly created markets are designed, how they (don’t) work, the various actors that are involved, and how these actors function together to create and contest the ‘atmosphere business’.

From the introductory article:

The statistics are quite clear. The only drops in carbon emissions that have occurred
over the past two decades were during recessions or some other type of serious
economic collapse. For example, the ex-Eastern bloc countries battled with various
GDP contractions throughout the 1990s, and then, of course, there was the 2008 global
financial crisis and resulting recession. Both events resulted in considerable GHG
emission reductions, while carbon markets have had near to no impact whatsoever,
other than creating new business and profit opportunities. This non-progress in terms of
making a step-change towards dealing with climate change is covered up by the
complexity of the language that surrounds the atmosphere business, which has resulted
in a ‘black box’ of carbon market terminology that only experts can open up and take
advantage of.

It’s available for download at http://mayflybooks.org/?page_id=79

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