Carbon emission indulgences?

I’d love to hear what people have to say in response to this provocative essay, which includes the following:

Here in the West, the so-called ‘war on global warming’ is reminiscent of medieval madness. You can now buy Indulgences to offset your carbon guilt. If you fly, you give an extra 10 quid to British Airways; BA hands it on to some non-profit carbon-offsetting company which sticks the money in its pocket and goes off for lunch. This kind of behaviour is demented.

2 thoughts on “Carbon emission indulgences?

  1. Kleiner

    A disclaimer: I am, on the whole, quite conservative. This is not the ranting of some freak lefty environmental terrorist.
    That said, global warming deniers are living in a fantasy land. While I tend to avoid the cataclysmic “end-times” way of talking about it, no serious scientist denies that humans are profoundly changing the environment/climate. His argument that the debate has been squashed by “peer-review” forgets that (a) journals love novelty because it allows more ink to be spilt and (b) the global-warming denial clan has had plenty of opportunities to make its case thanks to incredible funding from oil companies for their research (not to mention an administration that has turned a blind eye to the whole affair). In that sense, the climate change skeptics have been afforded a far louder voice than any other micro-minority view in a scientific debate.

    The bottom line is that pollution – of all kinds – most dramatically affects the poor and the disenfranchised. For that reason, one need not be a “deep ecologist” to think that the issue is pressing. Even those with an “anthropocentric” view of environmental ethics should be able to see that pollution (including but not limited to greenhouse gases) is a social justice issue. In other words, global warming is not an ecological issue as much as it is a moral issue. One can understand this locally as well as globally – where does your waste go here in Logan? Is the landfill up in the Cliffside neighborhood, among those who benefit the most from our consumer economy? Or, rather, is it on the west side of town – among the poor, minority, and disenfranchised, those that benefit the least from our consumer economy?

    I’ll rely on JPII to make the point:
    “Certain elements of today’s ecological crisis reveal its moral character. First among these is the indiscriminate application of advances in science and technology. Many recent discoveries have brought undeniable benefits to humanity. Indeed, they demonstrate the nobility of the human vocation to participate responsibly in God’s creative action in the world. Unfortunately, it is now clear that the application of these discoveries in the fields of industry and agriculture have produced harmful long-term effects. This has led to the painful realization that we cannot interfere in one area of the ecosystem without paying due attention both to the consequences of such interference in other areas and to the well-being of future generations.”


  2. matt feldman

    This is an old arguement. TerraPass did a survey of their readers and found that their readers are more green then the average person.

    Here are some highlights:

    86% watch their thermostat settings at home
    6% have installed solar panels (200 times the national average)
    43% bought a more fuel efficient car
    26% ride public transportation to work
    23% ride their bike to work

    Read more about the survey here



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