Thursday, October 12, 2006

To CO too, or not to CO too... that is the question?

CO stands for 'carbon offset'.

And here I wish we could afford to stump up for every paid subscription that may lead to a rich seam. But sadly, we can't, so I'll just have to use the tantalising first few paras of this piece, like my own, headlined as a question, to wonder about the wisdom of a certain practice: Are carbon offsets an excuse to carry on polluting?

The short answer is, and without being able to read on I'm no better informed from this piece (not their fault), I don't really know.

The theme being taken above is that it simply becomes a way to not feel guilty about doing something, and hence you just keep on doing it. Which can't be good, especially when that is punting goop into the atmosphere in pursuit of la dolce vita. But on the other hand, if those that do it will do it anyway, then at least whacking a fir in a desert to compensate may be better than nothing. Unless it dies of course. Then it's worse.

My greater concern is that, despite being perhaps more immersed than most in the whole e-arena, I am really none the wiser as to what these schemes are, how they work, who runs them, who monitors them, etc. A bit like some of the 'give your mobile/ink cartridge.. to us and we'll help charity schemes' that abound.

And so, perhaps inaccurately, I have an odd unease that the money may not be going where it could and should, and as efficiently. How much gets sucked up in salaries, offices, pension plans and Club Class trips to Bali to discuss how awful global warming is, before the first seedling is planted or wind farm planning bri... incentive (the validity of such schemes being another mission I'm on) paid?

It gets added to a long list, but I think I'm going to try and find out.