April 29, 2007

Indulge!

From an article in today's New York Times:

The worst of the carbon-offset programs resemble the Catholic Church’s sale of indulgences back before the Reformation, said Denis Hayes, the president of the Bullitt Foundation, an environmental grant-making group. Instead of reducing their carbon footprints, people take private jets and stretch limos, and then think they can buy an indulgence to forgive their sins.

This whole game is badly in need of a modern Martin Luther, Mr. Hayes added.


There isn’t a single American household above the poverty line that couldn’t cut their CO2 at least 25 percent in six months through a straightforward series of fairly simple and terrifically cost-effective measures, said Charles Komanoff, an energy economist in New York.

And we aren't going to get ourselves off the hook using biofuels either. Biofuels are good news for farmers-- corn prices have tripled in the last three years. But there ain't enough land to grow enough corn to fill all the gas tanks, and it takes a lot of fuel to grow corn: energy to make fertilizer, fossil fuel for tractors and transportation. And what will we eat if we burn the crops?

1 Comments:

At April 30, 2007 4:12 PM , Anonymous Tim said...

I'm surprised that someone who was clued in enough to even consider buying a carbon offset would still feel comfortable indulging in the limo or whatever.

I like the quote from Charles Komanoff. We plan to install a clothes hanger in the back yard this week.

something positive:
I was on a bike ride through Northfield, MN yesterday. There were two giant wind turbines there, one each for Carleton and Saint Olaf. Each school gets half their electric needs met by their turbine and I hear that Carleton is planning another so their campus will be 100% electrified by wind.

http://www.stolaf.edu/green/turbine/

 

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