The Cost Of Carbon Offsets. And Nancy!

When I first noticed the headline "Pelosi makes carbon neutral Europe trip" at The Hill, I figured it would probably provide a good story on hypocrisy and global warming silliness

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi jetted off last Saturday to Europe for a climate change fact-finding trip, she probably expected questions on how much greenhouse gas her trip would generate.

But Pelosi was one step ahead of the criticism, announcing as she left that she plans to “offset” her carbon dioxide emissions by contributing to the Pacific Forest Trust.

“She felt it was important to show how you can make your emissions neutral,” said Laurie Wayburn, president of the trust.

Pelosi will be covering the carbon cost of the entire eight-member delegation out of her own pocket, rather than through campaign funds or her office allowance.

Well, isn’t that special? She is going to pay for it herself, rather then out of the taxpayer money. And notice that she "left plans." Nothing about her actually doing it.

But, that is all secondary to paragraph 5 of the story

It’s not clear how much she’ll pay because the figures on Pelosi’s trip are still being calculated. But a passenger flying from San Francisco to New York causes about one ton of carbon to be emitted, and it costs $10 a ton for the forest trust to offset that amount, according to Wayburn.

To repeat: $10 a ton. That is the price of being "carbon neutral" and assuaging ones guilty conscience. $10. A. Ton.

What a perfect scam. Low cost, easy to do, and makes people feel good about being parted with their money. In Pelosi’s case, provided that she actually follows through, it might cost her what, $300-$400 for the whole trip, and she can say she is doing her part to combat global warming as caused by Man without changing her lifestyle a whit.

Tell you what: I will do it for $5 a ton. I have plenty of field space around me, so, for every ton you use, I will plant some tree seeds. Sound good? Not that those trees will do anything of consequence for years, but, hey, don’t you feel good about yourself? Because that is what carbon offsets are about: making yourself feel good, rather then helping the planet in any way.

Now, I finally went and checked several of the offset sites, and in order for me to feel good that I am "doing my part for to save the planet from natural forces," it would cost me around $150 a year, since I create about 15 tons of CO2 each year, according to very, very simple equations. I can even save the rain forests of Madagascar at the same time!

You wouldn’t believe how many companies there are out there who are attempting to part you from your money so you can feel good.

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3 Responses to “The Cost Of Carbon Offsets. And Nancy!”

  1. Silke says:

    Teach said: in order for me to feel good that I am “doing my part for to save the planet from natural forces,”

    The CO2 created by the burning of fossil fuels is not a “natural force.”

    I agree with you that carbon offsets are not the solution to solving this problem. What do you think we should do?

  2. John Ryan says:

    You always sound like as bitter old msn who really does not care about leaving the world a better place.

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