From the December issue of INC. Magazine, there was an interesting article about “Going Carbon Neutral”.The first line sums up the marketing of going carbon neutral.
“If it were cheap and easy, would you reduce your carbon emissions to zero?”
The whole article is a propaganda piece for carbon “offset” providers. They want you to hire them, so they can estimate how much carbon you offset a year, charge you a small fee. Enough to make you feel like your helping the planet, but not enough to make you feel like your getting robbed.
Most carbon providers take your money and fund some kind of green technology such as solar or wind power. They say it encourages people to reduce the amount of energy they use. I simply don’t think that will work.
2 different issues
But we are dealing with 2 different issues. Individuals who want to reduce their carbon foot print can easily do it without buying carbon credits.
Start recycling, unplug appliance that aren’t in use. reduce how much you consume, take your coffee mug to Startbucks instead of using a paper cup. Make your home more energy efficient.
Big corporations on the other hand would much rather just pay the fee. That way they have a scapegoat for why they haven’t changed their business practices. “Well we are carbon neutral because we buy carbon credits from so and so.”
But it goes against common sense!
If you take 100 flights overseas every year, but buy carbon credits to off set it, your still taking 100 flights a year. You didn’t reduce, reuse or recycle your way to carbon neutral. You took the easy way out.
And that’s what these carbon providers are hoping for. That there are millions of people who will pay to relieve their guilt.
Carbonfund.org even suggest you buy carbon offsets for your friends and family for the holidays and give them the gift of a better future! They reinforce their belief with their slogan:
Reduce what you can, offset what you can’t
Or Terrapass has a whole gift section of green gadgets that will help save the world. I wonder if you order a gift and they ship it to you, if they pay for the carbon offset to ship it too?
It’s so great lets make it mandatory
These companies are lobbying congress and Washington to make carbon credits mandatory. you own a car, now you owe a carbon tax. You want to buy a new washer and dryer, better stick a carbon tax on top of the sticker price to offset the carbon.
You have an older home, oops sorry that’s not as efficient as newer homes, your going to have to make up the difference in carbon offsets.
I’m not against people reducing, reusing, and recycling,we all should be. People should examine their lifestyles and make some changes. We have lived without consequences for too long, and we need to replace our short term outlook with a long term vision.
What I am against is corporations making huge profits off of selling snake oil, by duping their customers with slick presentations, psychological babble about how they are saving the earth and providing a future for their grand kids.
Carbon Credits the new indulgence
Buying carbon credits is the same thing as the Catholic Church selling Indulgence’s in the 1500′s. You sin, no problem you just need to buy this little indulgence to limit the consequence of your sin. It didn’t change the fact that you sinned, it didn’t even promise to forgive you, only Jesus could do that. The indulgence was strictly to avoid punishment for your sins.
Say like owning a factor and polluting local rivers for the last 40 years. Or shipping tons of toxic toys across the world. Our letting 5% of the worlds population consume 40% of the worlds resources.
“Oh we shouldn’t do that, well we’re carbon neutral”