January 19, 2006

"Carbon offsets" trade based on bogus accounting

George Monbiot continues his dance around criticisms of industrial wind power in an essay in the Jan. 17 Guardian (click the title of this post) about the charade of "carbon offsets," an important driver of wind power development.
But perhaps the most destructive effect of the carbon offset trade is that it allows us to believe we can carry on polluting. The government can keep building roads and airports and we can keep flying to Thailand for our holidays, as long as we purchase absolution by giving a few quid to a tree planting company [or green credit broker]. How do you quantify complacency? How do you know that the behaviour the trade induces does not cancel out the carbon it sequesters?

In other words I think it is fair to say that a scam is being perpetrated ... We know that climate change will impoverish many people. We now know that it will make others very rich. But their money-making schemes will have precious little to do with saving the planet.
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