Don’t Be a Fossil Fool: A case for valuing Biotic Carbon in climate talks

Cartoon courtesy Down to Earth magazine, CSE India

• To tackle enhanced global warming that leads to climate change, we need to better understand the global carbon cycle.

• Critical to this understanding is distinguishing between fossil carbon (coal and petroleum) and biotic carbon (photosynthetic biomass – living matter capable of absorbing atmospheric carbon).

• Biotic Carbon offers a ‘lifeboat’ to a world in search of solutions. Valuing biotic carbon can transform the role of farmers and rural communities currently sidelined in global climate change negotiations.

• Current methodologies of carbon trading have seriously warped both economics and ecology. What takes place today is more like carbon laundering.

These outspoken views are expressed in a new web video by Dr Ranil Senanayake, a globally experienced systems ecologist with four decades of experience across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Titled “Rethinking Carbon and Climate Change”, the 16 minute video is released on TVE Asia Pacific’s YouTube channel in time for World Environment Day 2012 and ahead of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20 in Brazil.

This is edited from a long interview I filmed with the maverick scientist in mid March 2012.

Watch the full film online:

This film is released under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license.

Read Q&A style interview on Groundviews (covers much else):
Sri Lanka’s Fast-track to Post-war Development: Remember the Mahaweli’s Costly Lessons!

Author: Nalaka Gunawardene

A science writer by training, I've worked as a journalist and communication specialist across Asia for 30+ years. During this time, I have variously been a news reporter, feature writer, radio presenter, TV quizmaster, documentary film producer, foreign correspondent and journalist trainer. I continue to juggle some of these roles, while also blogging and tweeting and column writing.

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