Saturday, February 17, 2007

Carbon Offset Debate goes satirical

The debate on climate offsetting continues, this time on CheatNeutral
They are heavy on the guilt-offsetting objection to carbon offsets.

Try this thought experiment:
2 people heat identical homes with identical gas condensing boilers, both fully insulated, using identical amounts of gas.
One pays a green enterprise to plant indigenous diverse woodlands locally, in such a way that the local community benefits. He plants so much that the weight of usable timber (i.e. the boles, and discounting the firewood from the branches which will be recycled into domestic heating energy) produced in 100 years time will be equivalent to the carbon that he has used to heat his house.
The other does not, because he thinks this is a silly and un-green thing to do.
Q: Which of these 2 has done more harm to the planet?
A: The one who does not plant the trees, because trees, if planted with due regard for the local community and ecology, are an asset to the locality and the planet.

2 comments:

Dan said...

Hi - I see you point, but not all offset schemes are poorly conceived. Many work well, and reduce the GHG output today. It is of course well documented that there are corrupt and ineffective schemes, which is why accreditation programmes are currently being set up.

DocRichard said...

Hi Dan,
Thanks, but I am on your side. I have expanded the piece a bit now to make it plain that I am in favour of carbon ofsetting if done right.
Richard