A Global Warming Advocate Makes the Case Against Carbon Offsets
Melissa Checker, assistant professor of Urban Studies at Queens College, The City University of New York, makes a strong case against carbon offsets.
"Between 2005 and 2007 the market for carbon offsets grew 175%, reaching $110 million (Faris 2007). But just as buying indulgences in the Middle Ages never really erased your sins, carbon offsets rarely counteract your carbon use. Moreover, in some cases, carbon offset projects actually hurt local people. Many experts now believe that well-intentioned consumers are not just wasting their money on offsets, but that purchasing them actually does more harm than good."
Read her essay here.
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Danny Shahar - 8/28/2008
Thanks for that; Checker raises some good points. I'd add that money spent on carbon offsets could be put towards "green" products that help the environment right from one's own home. Dual flush toilets, aerating faucets and shower heads, tire gauges, light timers, energy saving light bulbs, energy efficient appliances, insulation for outer walls, windows, and water heaters, new air filters for the car and air conditioner, and other countless environmentally friendly products are often economical on their own, but sometimes involves some significant up-front costs. If you're going to spend the money on the environment anyway, you might as well do it in a way that'll pay dividends for you in the future. And maybe after living around all that efficiency, you'll be motivated to undertake some of the lifestyle changes that have the potential to make the biggest difference!
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