Thank you for reading and your response! You make some excellent points, and I agree with your feelings of caution. Also, I would love to read your article (it’s on my list)!
I’m very concerned about how the introduction of NACs will affect ownership of the commons and conservation in general. However, my thoughts on the topic are conflicted.
Capitalism is profoundly imperfect but also powerful. While I can see how it can go horribly wrong, I can also see how it could go right, and a small part of me has some hope in that respect. I don’t believe capitalism is going anywhere anytime soon (at least in the US), so maybe an approach within the system could be helpful.
NACs are not a huge danger on their own. If, when buying an NAC titled “rainforest,” you are investing in public and private projects that benefit that environment, I can see how the asset class is beneficial.
Or, if your average small-time investor can hop on Robinhood and invest in “agriculture,” thus contributing funds to encourage farmers to use more sustainable practices, that’d be wonderful. Yes, a big motivator is profit, but maybe people will be more engaged in these issues and projects.
On the other hand, IEG is already working with governments to create NACs, and this is where I start to feel dread. For example, as of right now, the NYSE could sell Elon Musk as many shares in “air” as they wanted, and he wouldn’t necessarily have any legal standing in said ownership. However, with the cooperation of the UN and multiple governments, he could.
I’m not against profit, just profit that comes at the expense of the Earth, the common good, and our future. Unfortunately, profit falls into the latter category most of the time, which is why I can’t fully back the creation of NACs, even though I can see how they could be used beneficially.