Carbon credits. Kind of like gift certificates for your conscience, aren't they? But can we actually buy our way to a better planet? The New York Times recently explored the hipness of being "carbon-neutral" via purchasing carbon credits and came away less than impressed. Noting that:
A largely unregulated carbon-cutting business has sprung up. In this market, consultants or companies estimate a person's or company's output of greenhouse gases. Then, these businesses sell 'offsets,' which pay for projects elsewhere that void or sop up an equal amount of emissions â€” say, by planting trees or, as one new company proposes, fertilizing the ocean so algae can pull the gas out of the air. Recent counts by Business Week magazine and several environmental watchdog groups tally the trade in offsets at more than $100 million a year and growing blazingly fast.
Some folks say it's a nice, symbolic gesture to buy carbon credits, but not much more. The real work, they say, is in cutting energy use or just using renewable energy rather than paying off our debt to the environment with the wrong kind of green.
Where do you stand? Hard-liner? Credit buyer? A little of each?
written by Dave, May 20, 2007
written by Catherine, May 22, 2007
written by Joe Levi, June 07, 2007
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