Thursday, November 13, 2008




A Billion cell phones = a Billion ATMs

Carbon Micro Credits (CMCs) = Cell phone minutes = Cash

Every human being should own his or her own carbon footprint. If they offset their footprint, they should realize all the gains from the carbon savings they create.

However, one prominent American company, a member of the Dow Jones Industrials (or "Dow 30") sees it another way. Their subsidiary in Africa buys efficient charcoal stoves for less than $ 10 each, distributes them to the poor in Africa, and then claims about 2 tons / year of carbon offsets per distributed stove. Today 2 tons of carbon sell for about $ 40 in Europe See:

An excellent business -- for the unnamed Company! But in essence they are wrongfully appropriating the property of the poor in Africa to book US$ 100 - 200 million of profit per year for their rich American company. This is a great injustice -- they are carbon-footprint squatters, or carbon-credit carpetbaggers.

A Carbon Footprint Bill of Rights (or Carbon Offset Bill of Rights) is needed, and it should be endorsed by all governments and international NGOs (non-governmental organizations) such the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the OECD, and by all major corporations.

My cellphone-based system for claiming and monetizing Carbon Micro Credits -- CMCs -- (or Micro Carbon Credits or Carbon Micro Offsets) described in my first post down below would allow the Poor to buy their own stoves with their own Carbon Micro Credits in only 3 months. After that, the Poor would be able to keep and spend all the money that now unjustly goes into this American company's pockets.

Carbon Micro Credits will become the frequent flyer miles of the Developing World -- or the Green Stamps that every American housewife used to accumulate during the 1950s - 1960s. All are or were very successful and widespread forms of micro-financing that drive the profit motive down to the level of the individual.

Many experts and charities talk about enabling billions of the Poor to open bank accounts, but they all have no enabling electronic system and/or no renewable funding mechanism to seed the billion new bank accounts. All the schemes to date rely on charity, and/or require a physical bank facility to accept and distribute cash. These limitations will greatly retard any expansion of the banking system in the Developing World.

However, a cellphone-based Carbon Micro Credit (CMC) system could rapidly become ubiquitous and fund itself via ongoing monetization of carbon offsets. Cell-phone penetration rates in even the poorest countries of Africa are already high.

Simple accounting program/software changes at African cellphone carriers could equate X CMCs to Y cellphone minutes to Z amount of cash, which could then be withdrawn at any store in Africa using a cellphone-based text/SSM banking system such as that of

Cellphone minutes are already an accepted, widespread, easily fungible and non-inflatable form of currency in India, China and Africa. Carbon Micro Credits could be the underlying funding mechanism for their creation.

In sum, there are already a billion cell phones in the Developing World, why not make each one an ATM ? And why not fund these billion ATMs with Carbon Micro Credits, rather than charity ? The right answer ? -- there's not enough charity in the entire world to elevate the Poor in our lifetimes. But CMCs could at least start the process on a massive scale.

Globally & warmly yours,

David Palella
Caped Carbon Crusader
San Diego, CA
tel: 858-793-0741