February 04, 2007

Moving forward

1. Don't believe the hype. Reducing carbon dioxide emissions does not mean the economy will collapse. The first piece of evidence is that per capita CO2 emissions in Sweden are 1/4 per capita CO2 emissions in the USA. Its a big country so Swedes need long distance transportation. Its cold, so they need heat. A large part of the economy is based on energy intensive basic industries like paper and steel. Swedes have a good quality of life without emitting a lot of CO2. How do they do it? Hydroelectric, wind power, nuclear, bio-fuels AND energy efficiency. Reducing CO2 emissions would have many positive effects besides preventing climatological disaster: efficiency saves money, and reducing dependence on foreign oil increases security.

2. A lot of the emissions are due to driving automobiles. So, you could buy a hip new hybrid and improve your gas mileage by a factor of 3. Not bad! Or, you could jump over the fuel economy question altogether by leaving your car in the driveway and using your bike or the internet for your errands. Or, you could buy CO2 emissions offsets. Using emissions offsets it is DIRT CHEAP to turn your car into a zero emissions vehicle. Just a couple of bucks a month. The going rate for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is somewhere between 4 and 20 dollars per metric ton. Here is an overview of the market.


At February 08, 2007 8:11 PM , Blogger Joe said...


Matt - An interesting idea from a journalist/photographer. Make business clients, who require you to travel, pay for carbon emission offsets.

At February 08, 2007 8:13 PM , Blogger Joe said...


Try this...

At February 12, 2007 10:05 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Thanks Joe, that was a good piece. That's a cool little service, 'tinyurl'.

At February 12, 2007 6:21 PM , Anonymous Tim said...

"The Weather Makers" states that jets deposit water vapor and particulates in the upper atmosphere, producing "global dimming" or reflecting more of the sun's radiation away from earth and reducing the greenhouse effect. Because of this and because jet fuel can't be as easily replaced with alternatives jet travel might be the one part of our economy that remains carbon based. I'm all for offsetting this carbon too, for good measure.

At February 12, 2007 8:05 PM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Somebody higher up should be thinking about my proposal to spike jet fuel with sulfur that will be delivered directly into the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere. The non-sulfur fuel in the right wing gets burned at low altitudes and vice versa. Sulfur gets oxidized to sulfate which makes great aerosols, which would have long residence times in the UT/LS.

There is a limit to how much carbon we can pump out of the atmosphere and into say trees or peat-- but right now the price says offsets are a strong option. And its a growth industry. There are lots of ways to prevent CO2 from being emitted. My business plan is to start a carbon offset website. You send me ten bucks via PayPal and then I do something to prevent CO2 from being emitted-- potato in your tailpipe, pop-tart in the gas tank, slit tire, that sort of thing. You asked for it!


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