I have a proposal for the U.S. House of Representatives. Let’s call it the CarbonDenaFund. For the next year, I promise to plant five new trees, carpool with my husband to work everyday, and only buy grapes in season. I’ll also cut back on airline travel, walk instead of taking cabs, and I promise to only buy one pair of shoes per month. I’ll do all of this for the bargain basement price of $89,000. Sound like a scam? Nope – it’s actually a bargain!
Cabon offsets are a method whereby people who feel guilty about driving SUVs pay to invest in environmentally friendly projects to offset their own carbon emissions. It’s how Al Gore was able to jet set all over the world but still maintain that he wasn’t damaging the environment in the process. The process is completely unregulated and there are few ways to determine if the offset credits that you purchase actually go to projects that will reduce carbon emissions.
The Washington Post today reported on page one that the U.S. House of Representatives – or more aptly – the U.S. taxpayer spent $89,000 on carbon offsets last year. But, it turns out that what they really did was give money to the Democratic leaning North Dakota Farmers Union to encourage farmers to use no-till farming – which releases less carbon into the atmosphere. The problem? The farmers were already using no-till farming, so the money didn’t actually reduce any carbon emmissions. Another project? Paying the Nez Perce Indian tribe to plant trees. But according to the tribe, they probably would have planted those trees anyway. So again, no actual reductions.
Unlike the Congress’s previous carbon offsets – CarbonDenaFund is guaranteed carbon reduction. My husband can attest to my shoe buying habits. And, as an added bonus they’ll be stimulating the economy by giving me wads of cash. What a deal.
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