Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Idiocy of Carbon Offsets

Warning: This post is way off topic from my normal focus, and it's sort of political, but I can't help myself, so please forgive me! Carbon offsets are in the media more and more these days. While I can see the use of them at the government/large company level, I really have a problem with how they are being thrown out as some kind of solution to global warming. Al Gore may be feeling good about being "carbon neutral", but I guarantee he's pumping a whole lot more CO into the environment than I ever will. Private jets will do that for you. Why do I have such a problem with this concept? Because at its base level, this is really just a way for people to feel good about doing nothing. You pay someone else money to generate clean energy or some other environmentally sensitive project (whether the money is actually used to directly lower CO emissions in the amount you assume it will is, of course, not at all possible to determine), then get to feel good about driving your SUV to work by yourself everyday. Please. You'd be doing the environment a whole lot more good by actually trading that SUV in for a small car. Or by buying less stuff and recycling more. Something proactive, rather than a feel-good gesture that puts the onus on someone else to do more for our environment. I recently read an article about some college students who are starting up a website to sell things with some kind of carbon offset premium. Um, no thanks. I have no intention of throwing money away on something that may or may not be accomplishing what it is supposed to do. I'd rather keep using our reusable cleaning rags and conserving our energy usage. These are things that actually make a difference, rather than just make give me a warm, cozy feeling inside that somewhere, somehow, something might be done about this whole global warming thing we're all so worried about.

2 sonar pings:

sues2u2 said...

Good for you! My frustration is that I live in sunny Arizona & solar energy is so expensive to transition to. If we are so worried about our natural resources than why shouldn't this be made more available & why isn't it being worked into our everyday lives more? Sorry, but that is one of my biggest pet peeves!

Laura said...

I really, really wish we could buy the smaller car. REALLY. But they don't make small vehicles that fix 8 people...