The Carbon Hunters
The Carbon Hunters was reported by Mark Schapiro, produced by Andres Cediel & co-produced by Daniela Broitman.
In a remote corner of Brazil's Atlantic coast, they say time is a fiction. This ancient forest is seemingly unspoiled by modern life -- beyond the reach of men, machines, and markets.
But a closer look reveals something very different happening here.
"I'm tracking a group of hunters," correspondent Mark Schapiro says, as he hikes deep into the forest. "They're after something that has become one of the hottest commodities in recent years -- and they think they can capture it with just a tape measure and a pen."
The men Schapiro is following aren't after illegal game or even illegal logging. They want what is stored inside the trees: carbon dioxide.
"How much carbon would you think is in this tree right here?" Schapiro asks Ricardo da Britez, the chief forest scientist in this reserve, pointing to one of an endless line of trees.
"I think it probably contains between 90 and 100 kilos of carbon," da Britez says. He oversees the carbon counting here, and his measurements are being followed closely by people around the world who are trying to figure out how to buy and sell this carbon on the international market.
So if carbon is selling on the market for about $10 a ton, Schapiro asks, what is this tree worth on the carbon market?
"One dollar," da Britez says.