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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

View Poll Results: Do you purchase carbon offsets?
Yes, on a regular basis (every year/month, etc) 6 14.29%
Yes, but only a few times 1 2.38%
No because I'm 100% clean in my home/travel anyways 1 2.38%
No (and I'm not 100% clean) 34 80.95%
Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-10-07, 04:02 PM   #1
donrhummy
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How many people purchase carbon offsets?

Carbon offsets?

"A carbon offset is a service that reduces the net greenhouse gas ("carbon") emissions of a party, by reducing the greenhouse gas emissions—or increasing the carbon dioxide absorption—of another party. The intended goal of carbon offsets is to combat global warming.

A wide variety of offset actions are available and possible: tree planting is the most frequent, followed by various renewable energy and energy conservation projects, sometimes certified as CDM credits, and sometimes in the form of allowances purchased and retired from the carbon emission trading schemes such as the EU ETS."


How to go Carbon neutral:
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/Climate_C...tral_steps.asp

Last edited by donrhummy; 02-10-07 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 02-10-07, 07:20 PM   #2
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ouch. no responses.
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Old 02-10-07, 07:31 PM   #3
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might want to explain it to the uninitiated

I buy wind power, does that count?
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Old 02-10-07, 07:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Eatadonut
might want to explain it to the uninitiated

I buy wind power, does that count?
Yep, that counts!
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Old 02-10-07, 07:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by donrhummy
ouch. no responses.
Okay, I'll log in and vote.
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Old 02-10-07, 10:12 PM   #6
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Does buying a Terra Pass count?
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Old 02-11-07, 01:38 PM   #7
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Does buying a Terra Pass count?
Definitely, that's exactly what a Terra Pass is.
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Old 02-12-07, 03:23 PM   #8
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Just curious: why did everyone not purchase carbon offsets? Don't believe in it? Don't have the money? Didn't hear about it but you'll do it now?
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Old 02-13-07, 01:19 AM   #9
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I suppose I purchase wind power by proxy, but it's not something I go out of the way to do. I think it's a scam, especially after I saw BP running a program. We pay exorbitant prices for a carcinogenic/climate changing fuel, and now we're supposed to pay for it's cleanup? BS! Business' should account for all the impacts of their products... Which would kill profits I suppose. So now we have ~40,000 a year die from fossil fuel pollution in the US alone, and god knows how many dead/what damage due to climate change, since we won't be able to calculate that impact for a decade or so.
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Old 02-13-07, 10:19 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by donrhummy
Just curious: why did everyone not purchase carbon offsets? Don't believe in it? Don't have the money? Didn't hear about it but you'll do it now?
I, for one, don't think it's a good idea. There is absolutely no way that I will ever pay someone to reduce their emissions. It's like paying a burglar to leave your home.

Large producers of emissions should be paying us for the damage they create. Not the other way around.
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Old 02-13-07, 10:32 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by makeinu
I, for one, don't think it's a good idea. There is absolutely no way that I will ever pay someone to reduce their emissions. It's like paying a burglar to leave your home.

Large producers of emissions should be paying us for the damage they create. Not the other way around.
I'm confused.

I buy wind power - or rather, pay for wind power. I'm sure what actually comes to my house is from the power plant down the highway. In effect, I'm paying to reduce my own carbon impact. I don't see how that's a bad thing.

If a burglar came into your house and said, "I'm stealing your fine china, and this set of plastic sippy-cups", would you care about the cups? It's like $2 on every electric bill for me to opt into the wind energy.
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Old 02-13-07, 11:08 AM   #12
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every time I fly. I even got my office to agree to buy carbon offsets for business travel.
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Old 02-13-07, 11:09 AM   #13
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and most carbon offsets are doing things like recovering methane from landfills, or replacing dirty energy in developing countries with cleaner sources. that's why offsets are so cheap.
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Old 02-13-07, 11:20 AM   #14
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and most carbon offsets are doing things like recovering methane from landfills, or replacing dirty energy in developing countries with cleaner sources. that's why offsets are so cheap.
Where do you buy them from? (which company/org?)
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Old 02-13-07, 11:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eatadonut
I'm confused.

I buy wind power - or rather, pay for wind power. I'm sure what actually comes to my house is from the power plant down the highway. In effect, I'm paying to reduce my own carbon impact. I don't see how that's a bad thing.

If a burglar came into your house and said, "I'm stealing your fine china, and this set of plastic sippy-cups", would you care about the cups? It's like $2 on every electric bill for me to opt into the wind energy.
I'm kinda confused too. I thought carbon offsets are to reduce the emissions of a third-party, not your own emissions. For example, I go buy a tree because my neighbor runs his air conditioning all day long.
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Old 02-13-07, 12:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makeinu
I, for one, don't think it's a good idea. There is absolutely no way that I will ever pay someone to reduce their emissions. It's like paying a burglar to leave your home.

Large producers of emissions should be paying us for the damage they create. Not the other way around.
Sure, the ideal is that everyone who's doing something bad would stop doing so and/or fix the bad things they did. But that's very unlikely to happen and in the meantime, you and I are suffering from it too. Think about it this way: the street you live on might have some soda cans and candy wrappers thrown on the ground in front of your home. You didn't put them there but they're making your home and street less beautiful and enjoyable. You have two options:

1. Complain that whoever threw them there should be fined (which won't happen because they'll never be "found") and leave them there
2. Sweep them up yourself and have a cleaner more enjoyable street
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Old 02-22-07, 08:40 PM   #17
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I'm kinda confused too. I thought carbon offsets are to reduce the emissions of a third-party, not your own emissions. For example, I go buy a tree because my neighbor runs his air conditioning all day long.
its mostly like companies building biogas plants in india so that they don't need to build coal plants. forestry offsets are problematic because of additionality rules (like, how do you know that the tree was not going to be planted anyway, and who will stop me from cutting it down?)

lots of companies do it. google "carbon offsets" you'll get a ton. terrapass is most mainstream, but others are better. some are nonprofit, others are for-profit.
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Old 02-22-07, 08:51 PM   #18
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I don't buy them, because first of all I'm pretty emission free (no car) and second, my reasons for being low on emissions don't really have anything to do with the issues that carbon offsets address.
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Old 02-22-07, 09:20 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by donrhummy
ouch. no responses.
Perhaps the title of your post should have been "How many people carry a gun while purchasing carbon offsetting?"

Seriously though, a great number of people are unaware of just how bad their poisoned lifestyles are. When I talk about why co-workers shouldn't purchase fast food from a drive-through, they look at me like I was from Mars.

Further, many others don't want to talk about it because they are afraid that they are going to singled out by someone who is feeling 'holier that thou' because they do care about our environment.

Okay, it's confession time. I don't own a car, I bike everywhere, I recycle, re-use, return, I compost and I have about a half a can of garbage every two weeks. I'm pretty green, and I get lots of support from my family. We buy green power, store solar energy, and generally do our bit for the planet. That said, every year I fly somewhere with my bike for a vacation.

Is that kinda like carbon offset?
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Old 02-22-07, 09:29 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by stokell
Perhaps the title of your post should have been "How many people carry a gun while purchasing carbon offsetting?"

Seriously though, a great number of people are unaware of just how bad their poisoned lifestyles are. When I talk about why co-workers shouldn't purchase fast food from a drive-through, they look at me like I was from Mars.

Further, many others don't want to talk about it because they are afraid that they are going to singled out by someone who is feeling 'holier that thou' because they do care about our environment.

Okay, it's confession time. I don't own a car, I bike everywhere, I recycle, re-use, return, I compost and I have about a half a can of garbage every two weeks. I'm pretty green, and I get lots of support from my family. We buy green power, store solar energy, and generally do our bit for the planet. That said, every year I fly somewhere with my bike for a vacation.

Is that kinda like carbon offset?
you are better than most people, but not good enough. carbon offsets will make you neutral. however, if it ever catches on, the "easy carbon" will dry up, and the price of offsets will go up. this will show how really difficult it will be to stop global warming.

but we will do it anyway, or we will inexorably kill the planet.
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Old 02-22-07, 11:31 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by stokell
Perhaps the title of your post should have been "How many people carry a gun while purchasing carbon offsetting?"

Seriously though, a great number of people are unaware of just how bad their poisoned lifestyles are. When I talk about why co-workers shouldn't purchase fast food from a drive-through, they look at me like I was from Mars.

Further, many others don't want to talk about it because they are afraid that they are going to singled out by someone who is feeling 'holier that thou' because they do care about our environment.

Okay, it's confession time. I don't own a car, I bike everywhere, I recycle, re-use, return, I compost and I have about a half a can of garbage every two weeks. I'm pretty green, and I get lots of support from my family. We buy green power, store solar energy, and generally do our bit for the planet. That said, every year I fly somewhere with my bike for a vacation.

Is that kinda like carbon offset?
Not quite. You're definitely better than 99.9% of people but the point of carbon offsets is to make yourself carbon neutral, i.e. at zero. So the amount of carbon you put out, you're paying to have taken out. You put out near zero in your life at home, etc, but then the flights are a negative that you don't offset. Still, it feels wrong to say anything "critical" to you because as far as I'm concerned the way you live is freakin' awesome!
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Old 02-23-07, 06:22 AM   #22
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Large producers of emissions should be paying us for the damage they create. Not the other way around.
I don't know. I realize that who's really powerful and who's not is a little different in this situation, but companies that provide you with services are on some level your servant. They'd never provide you with energy from pollution-rich sources unless you paid them to do it. On some level it's like telling someone "i'll give you ten grand to kill that guy" and then wanting the hit-man to pay you afterward, because he did something immoral.

The trouble with oil is that it's being sold too cheaply (that's why people use it so much) rather than being sold for too much.
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Old 02-23-07, 07:06 AM   #23
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My utility doesn't seem to offer carbon offsets, so I voted No. I probably would buy them if they were available, although I find the concept a little confusing.

One thing that does concern me about carbon offsets is that I can throw a few dollars at the utility company, then crank up the A/C rather painlessly. Maybe a more straightforward way to do it would be to increase the cost of the electricity to where it can easily fund green initiatives. The carbon offset seems like green "charity" to me.
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Old 02-23-07, 07:10 AM   #24
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Perhaps the title of your post should have been "How many people carry a gun while purchasing carbon offsetting?"
A little OT, but you raise a good question... one that's too depressing to even comment on.
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Old 02-23-07, 08:10 PM   #25
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My utility doesn't seem to offer carbon offsets, so I voted No. I probably would buy them if they were available, although I find the concept a little confusing.

One thing that does concern me about carbon offsets is that I can throw a few dollars at the utility company, then crank up the A/C rather painlessly. Maybe a more straightforward way to do it would be to increase the cost of the electricity to where it can easily fund green initiatives. The carbon offset seems like green "charity" to me.
its not utilities that offer carbon offsets. the way it works is that companies do projects that reduce a certain amount of carbon from going into the air. they get certified emissions reductions (CER's) from those projects, which are authorized by various industry bodies. they can sell those CERs for whatever they can get for them.

it is huge in europe, where industries have emissions caps over which they cannot go. if they pollute too much, they need to buy CERs to bring themselves back into compliance. other industries, if they pollute less than their quota, can make and sell CERs.

industry and individual systems are different. here in the US there is no law, so you only buy offsets if you care about the earth. nobody gives you a pollution quota that you may not go above. but they should.
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