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Carbon economy & tax free cities

About the blog

Madhukar Swayambhu
Madhukar Swayambhu is a Water Hero of India, a TEDx speaker, an innovator, an ecologist, environmentalist associated with environmental restoration.
  • Carbon economy & tax free cities

Today, our cities are full of problems and taxes. There is a property tax, municipal tax, sewer tax, water tax and what not. On the other hand, we have water scarcity, sewage problem, depleting underground aquifers, drinking water problems, polluted air, polluted waterbodies, and waterbodies turning into sewage dumps and so on.

But is this natural? Or a man-made disaster? Can this be reversed?

Let’s try solving this jigsaw puzzle for the benefit of the society.

WASTE – The human invention

On this planet the biggest and the most sustainable human invention is the concept of waste. Otherwise in nature, except for human beings, no other organism or any other life form, has never ever generated anything called waste. Because waste of one organism is useful for another and that is why the cycle goes on. This is the key to sustainability. In nature, the natural cycle exists. Anything that is created, is reared for some time and is finally returned to where it came from, and then regenerated. This cycle is the reason behind the consistent changes and sustainability of this planet for last billions of years. Every natural phenomena is cyclic.

You see we know about so many cycles in nature – there’s a water cycle that is taught in elementary school, there’s a nitrogen cycle taught in middle school, there’s a carbon & phosphorus cycle that bothers most of the environmentalists in today’s world. Similarly, there’s a food chain in the jungle that is a terrestrial chain, likewise in the aquatic ecology too consistent food chain within the water too. These chains or cycles are necessary to be maintained to keep the nature sustainable, but we break the chain through our process of waste creation.

Spoiling the Ecosystem with Waste 

When we break this cycle of nature, that the substance is NOT returned to its origin, we create waste. For all our activities or creations or production – the basic raw material comes in from nature, be it C8 for Teflon, be it plastic, be it benzene, PFOS or PFAS molecule or any other human creation in laboratories, those non-biodegradable molecules that we are very proud of – all are created from the raw material that exists naturally on earth. No raw material comes in from out space.

So we create products out of these raw material, but all those products have their life cycle and when they are end of life, ideally they should either get recycled or they should be returned to their respective source. This is what we don’t do and stop the cycle to create waste.

For example, there are metals & minerals ions or atoms, which are created because of the various earth activities like microbial metabolic activities, or earthly occurrences like movement of tectonic plates or volcanic eruptions etc. and then it gets converted into ores that are then originally extracted by the mining companies. In turn, a specific metal or a mineral is extracted from the ore and then it is converted into some other form wherein, it is usable by the mankind and then finally it is consumed for making a finished product.

This product will be useful for human race, but eventually its life cycle will get over and it will become end of life and then we call it a scrap. Like for example, if you get a 2MB RAM today, what’s the use? You cannot fix it in your desktop or your laptop you cannot even put it into your phone because your phone is probably a smaller than the size of the 2MB RAM itself. So you would call it an e-waste and then it will land up in a garbage dump. Simply lying there in the heap of waste, contributing to nothing, just emitting GHG because of the excessive heat and pressure.

So this is the concept of waste, which has been created by human beings.

And the same is happening across the soil, water and air. Let’s a look at the water too.

The Level of Water Pollution today

Heard of Bellandur Lake in Bengaluru?

This is almost 800 acres lake, well within the heart of the silicon valley of India, the city of Bengaluru, which is notorious for catching fire in summers, and this is a repeated phenomenon happening almost every year.

Ever wondered why does that happen? This is only because of emission of methane and why is methane emitted out of Bellandur Lake? It is only because of the high amount of organic waste that we are putting inside the lake through industrial effluent & domestic sewage. All the organic waste when decomposed, releases carbon dioxide, monoxide and methane, that’s natural decomposition process. Like if you see how does cow dung gets decomposed that is an organic waste, when it decomposes it generates methane and carbon dioxide, that’s how you get the biogas.

Just imagine what a disaster we’ve done! We have transform the producer of oxygen into a consumer of oxygen because when a Waterbody produces greenhouse gases (GHG) obviously will be absorbing oxygen from the atmosphere to try maintaining the aquatic life. I mean it can’t emit and absorb GHG at the same time. Naturally what it’s absorbing has to be opposite of what it’s emitting.

So what can be done for solving this issue? How do we transform these liabilities in to assets? Cownomics© Technology can be used for enabling them, but let’s understand the whole picture first.

Economy of Ecology – Carbon Credits 

By and large, environmental restoration work is considered to be and expense.

That’s merely lack of knowledge, not just about nature, but also about man-made world our own created economy and market.

Like many people wouldn’t be aware of some exchanges like, Carbon Trade Exchange (CTX,, or EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) – The world’s largest carbon market, or the Western Climate Initiative and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – The two regional carbon markets in North America, or National CDM Authority ( in India that regularly organises Carbon Bazar for buying and selling Carbon credits.

Just to give you a glimpse of only the Indian market, let’s talk about National Clean Energy & Environment Fund (NCEEF), which was created in the year 2011, based on the “Polluter Pays” principle. You can take it as a pollution cess, which is paid by the polluter, so that the same could be utilised for developing technologies for carbon sequestration or renewable energy resources. The amount of fund collected by them in FY2019—20 happens to be upwards of a whopping ₹ 25,000 Crores. That’s the size of the addressable market for the agencies and companies working in the Carbon sequestration and sink sectors.

Cities benefit 

All those parched cities, villages, rural & urban clusters who are struggling for Water due to acute water crisis in India, because we are 54% under stress and 22% aquifer has been depleted, — can be the beneficiaries. Because God made India as a water abundant country and man has made it a water parched country. Fortunately, we have good numbers of waterbodies across the country, spread over the states.

We have just polluted them to the extent that the native ecology is abolished today. If they are ecologically rejuvenated, all these Waterbodies will become natural carbon sinks.

Carbon credits will be generated, which could be sold domestically in Carbon Bazars organised by MoEFCC or could be sold internationally in the Carbon Trading Exchanges across the globe.

Therefore, if done properly & ecologically using Cownomics© Technology, maintaining a waterbody is not just solving the problems, but also generating a huge revenue to make the entire administration self-sufficient and tax free for all citizens.

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