I'm sure everyone's seen just what a hot topic the environment has really started to become and it appears that of late this has all started to center around carbon emissions. I suppose the thing that worries me the most is that people have been lead to believe that carbon is a bad thing. Carbon is basically one of the building blocks of life we are after all carbon based life forms without carbon we probably wouldn't exist. Just like most things, too much of something can sometimes cause an imbalance, we breath in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide CO2, trees take in Carbon Dioxide and let out Oxygen in return through photosynthesis.
Its a simple enough process but there are other things that let out carbon such as cars, planes, factories and power plants. While the majority of carbon dioxide is actually not made by man but occurs naturally itself in the atmosphere from the oceans, volcanoes and natural biodegrading of plant life, the small percentage we contribute to the environment is thought to be enough to offset enough of the worlds CO2 to cause a global warming effect. However people do not seem to realize that carbon is only one of the gasses thought to be responsible for global warming in addition to CO2 there is Methane, Nitrous oxide, CFC-12 etc. and what appears to have happened is a whole industry has sprung up around Carbon many calling themselves "carbon neutral" companies. There are organizations that have risen to start profiting on the idea of carbon credits. Now you can trade the right to create pollution and in theory if there is to much pollution the price of carbon credits goes up because everyone wants them or they in theory could face a fine.
How they measure how much carbon a company creates from production is probably another question but surely such a system can only help the world if major manufacturing countries such as those in the Asia economies sign up to the carbon credit idea? Another thing that appears to have got African states annoyed many with young economies only just starting is the imposing of these restraints on them. "Look how easy it is for you to go green" they are told."You have so much sunshine why not use solar power?". What many people do not understand is that solar energy is not enough by itself to power manufacturing in these countries and solar panels are still relatively quite expensive. Solar energy is also not very reliable, subject to popular belief they do get stormy weather in Africa and the sun isn't always available. I agree that more money should be spent investigating cleaner energy, but people in the developing world are often unable to afford it.
Maybe the cost of renewable energy should be offset against the tax's on fossil fuels?