Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Carbon Credits/Offsets

One of the shows last week on CBC's 'Overnight' (a collage of half-hour news shows from other countries' public radio networks) featured a tedious discussion of Carbon Offsets and Credits. The idea is that if you engage in activities that cause carbon to be released, you pay some organization some money to go plant trees, or install solar panels somewhere, or the like, to offset your behaviour and recapture the same amount of carbon.
I utterly LOVE Ed Morrissey's analogy of this guilt-reduction effort:
a modern form of indulgences in order to avoid doing the penance that global-warming activism demands of others.

And read his original post to note the context in which this arises. It is the Goracle at issue.
Even worse, as Instapundit points out, is this, which suggests there may be a politician with better personal environmental credentials.
In any case, the science behind these carbon offsets seems unlikely to me to get the numbers right. Though, as a member of Greg Mankiw's Pigou Club, I don't think getting it perfectly right is the key.
In the end, will these indulgences find their Luther?


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