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Gingersnap
11-19-2009, 12:48 PM
Experts say carbon offsets offset only travelers' guilt

By Elisabeth Rosenthal
New York Times

POSTED: 12:10 a.m. HST, Nov 18, 2009

In 2002 Responsible Travel became one of the first travel companies to offer customers the option of buying so-called carbon offsets to counter the planet-warming emissions generated by their airline flights.

But in October, Responsible Travel canceled the program, saying that while it might help travelers feel virtuous, it was not helping to reduce global emissions. In fact, company officials said, it might even encourage some people to travel or consume more.

"The carbon offset has become this magic pill, a kind of get-out-of-jail-free card," Justin Francis, the managing director of Responsible Travel, said in an interview. "It's seductive to the consumer who says, 'It's $4 and I'm carbon-neutral, so I can fly all I want."'

Offsets, he argues, are distracting people from making more significant behavioral changes, like flying less.

In theory, the purchase of carbon offsets is supposed to cancel out the emissions generated by activities like flying or heating office buildings by directing money to programs that reduce emissions elsewhere, like tree-planting in Africa or a hydropower project in Brazil. An airline passenger might volunteer to pay $5 to $40 to offset his flight, with the price linked to distance.

Offsets have played a growing role in the greening of travel because carbon dioxide emissions from airplanes are growing so quickly and there is currently no technological fix that would drastically lower them.

In the United States, dozens of hotels and airlines have embraced such programs in the last year or two. United Airlines became the latest American airline to offer one this summer. Globally, offset programs have grown into a multimillion-dollar industry.

But it has proved difficult to monitor or quantify the emissions-reducing potential of the thousands of green projects financed by customers' payments, and there are no industrywide standards.

Responsible Travel is not the only organization that has changed its mind about the usefulness of offsets: Yahoo and the U.S. House of Representatives both ended trial offset-purchase programs this year, concluding that the money was better spent on improving their buildings' energy efficiency.

Some of the world's leading experts on the emissions issue have reviewed and rejected purchasing offsets for air travel.

"We're always looking at it, but so far I've decided not to do it," said Paul Dickenson, chief executive of the Carbon Disclosure Project, a vast nonprofit consortium of companies that have pledged to report and reduce their emissions. For one thing, he said, offsetting the emissions of a flight from London to New York would probably require an extra fee of $200 to $300, far above what any airline is now charging.

And some experts say that emissions from airline travel are simply so large that it may be impossible to offset them.

"Buying offsets is a nice idea, just like giving money to a soup kitchen is a nice idea, but that doesn't end world hunger," said Anja Kollmuss, a staff scientist for the Stockholm Environment Institute who is based at a branch at Tufts University.


Star Bulletin (http://www.starbulletin.com/news/nyt/20091118_Experts_say_carbon_offsets_offset_only_tr avelers_guilt.html)

lacarnut
11-19-2009, 01:56 PM
If I had a 2 car garage, I would buy a Hummer to drive around town just to piss off liberals.

Speedy
11-19-2009, 02:08 PM
I had a Hummer and the most enjoyment I got from driving it was from listening to people who hated it. Pfft! Guilt. What the fuck is that. I would love to eat a baby harp seal steak and the only guilt I would feel about that would be that I did not club it to death myself. Guilt! Guilt is for pussies.

lacarnut
11-19-2009, 11:40 PM
I had a Hummer and the most enjoyment I got from driving it was from listening to people who hated it. Pfft! Guilt. What the fuck is that. I would love to eat a baby harp seal steak and the only guilt I would feel about that would be that I did not club it to death myself. Guilt! Guilt is for pussies.

Pussies and Faux pau conservatives and liberals.:)

BTW, was yours the H3 or the H2. I want the one with the 5.7 Vette engine not the pussiefied 3.7 L. engine.

Speedy
11-19-2009, 11:53 PM
Pussies and Faux pau conservatives and liberals.:)

BTW, was yours the H3 or the H2. I want the one with the 5.7 Vette engine not the pussiefied 3.7 L. engine.

Mine was the H2 model. Did not use fuel. Instead it snacked on a Prius or two a week.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y236/speed_addiction/hummerh2.jpg

lacarnut
11-20-2009, 11:20 AM
Mine was the H2 model. Did not use fuel. Instead it snacked on a Prius or two a week.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y236/speed_addiction/hummerh2.jpg

That's the one I want with the upgraded 6.2L engine, and put a legal but loud exhaust system on it should do the trick. Nothing like fucking with liberals and weenies.

Botox Pisslosi and Al Bore jetting around the country don't give a shit about their carbon footprint so why should I?