TED Conversations

B. Reynolds

Adjunct Chief Sustainability Officer,

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The WTO should push developed nations to compensate developing ones for the theft of natural atmospheric minerals like oxygen.

Oxygen is a naturally occurring gaseous mineral resource. Through their energy practices, western countries consume more than their fair share of the globes's oxygen as a measure of population and geographic footprint. In turn they export more CO2 to countries not inclined to take it. I believe it falls well within the prevue of the WTO to force compensation or regulation of this practice (as a matter of trade) in the same way that it could make a judgement against one country drilling under another for oil.

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    Mar 24 2011: Well, consuming oxygen isn't, really the problem. There is plenty of it and we are in no danger of running out of it.
    On the other hand, greenhouse gas emission is a problem, and for that the carbon credits were invented.
    Read here for more on carbon credits: http://www.bnet.com/article/what-is-carbon-credit/187036
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    Mar 23 2011: I have not yet thought through your idea so I cannot comment directly on what you are proposing. I can say that if the world is forcing poor countries to delay or halt their development so as to preserve forested areas for the world's oxygen supply and well being- when the rich nations have already made their money by doing the harm -this issue should be considered.