Carbon Offsets and Global Warming

Image from Sergey Kustov on Wikipedia, CC3 Licensed(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en)


By Carroll Colette J. Yorgey
Carbon Offsets are an attempt by various organizations, companies, and people to offset the amount of energy and pollutants they use, by buying into charitable causes that work to alleviate the disastrous effects of toxic chemicals spewed into the atmosphere with high energy use. This is seen as a positive step to alleviate the burden of global warming in the 21st century. At least something is being done.
Carbon Neutral is the new catch phrase for carbon offsets. Airline companies, environmentalists, politicians, and entrepreneurs are getting into the act. It is something new for the consumer to purchase to alleviate his guilt in his use of carbon fuels and high-energy usage.
Silverjet is the first trans-Atlantic carrier to offer the Carbon-Neutral airline package. Silverjet puts $28 of each round trip ticket into a global fund that gets rid of as much carbon dioxide as the plane generates.
The idea is to sell carbon offsets in global warming projects in amounts that are equal to emissions generated by the buyer.
So far the trade in carbon offsets amounts to $100 million per year. However there is a wide variation in pricing and the cheapest prices may not be legitimate.
Americans average about 20 tons of carbon dioxide per year in heating and cooling their homes, driving cars, and flying in airplanes. Global citizens of the planet average 4.5 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
That is a lot of carbon dioxide tonnage that is affecting global warming. Can the carbon offsets equal this amount? And shouldn’t the offsets be more than equal amounts, because we are trying to stop the terrible effects of CO2 on the environment, which is causing global warming? If the offsets only equal the dangerous emissions, that is equivalent to breaking even. We need to go beyond the break-even point to achieve substantial reductions in global warming.
Critics of offsetting worry about people thinking they have solved the problem with the offset. People might forget about conservation and the effects of global warming. They might not work to reduce their energy consumption or CO2 emissions.
So far customers for carbon offsets are in the low tens of thousands. The most important aspect of carbon offsetting is that people must realize that they need to cut their energy consumption by about 25% and stop using vehicles that spew so much CO2 into the environment.
Copyright © 2018 Carroll Colette J. Yorgey