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Carbon Offset....sort of
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newmac
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Kennington, London

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:00 pm    Post subject: Carbon Offset....sort of Reply with quote

Carbon Offset ? well not really but this might be a good idea?.

There are many schemes out there that allow you to offset your carbon. Some of these plant trees and some, a lot more useful in my opinion, increase energy efficiency ? e.g. by supplying energy economical cooking stove to areas where wood is used, or energy efficient light bulbs.

I?ve seen a quite a lot of arguments for and against these schemes, and even have my own thoughts which I won?t bother to go into.

Here is an idea I had that people who don?t like them might be interested in doing to ease your guilt ? use the calculators (e.g. www.climatecare.org) to find the estimated cost to offset your carbon emissions. Then log into Powerswitch and donate that amount of money to our funds instead. This money will go to campaigning and getting the Peak Oil message out. Being a volunteer organisation we don?t have admin overheads etc?

I'll start the ball rolling - James, I'll give ?5.91 to powerswitch for my holiday that is coming up and ?29.62 for my flat for a year.
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Billhook



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: High in the Cambrian Mountains

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Newmac -

Your radical offer seems generous - if totally unrelated to any means of accounting either the costs of real-time carbon banking,
or to the damages caused by the failure to achieve that banking.

The Campaign against Climate Change is discussing another option, that of members volunteering the costs
of establishing real-time carbon banking over some years - which may also be of help.

Personally I'd welcome PowerSwitch taking a yet more integrated approach to the resolution of GW + PO,
so I'll gladly match your donation.

regards,

Bill
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David Pollard



Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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Location: Sheffield

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:43 pm    Post subject: Offset realism Reply with quote

Offset alternatives might sound sweet, but there is real potential if a body of activity can be established. I and other people within the international Rotary movement have setup a Rotary version of offset. www.co2offsettrust.org We are encouraging Rotarians to pay for car and plane travel. All the money goes to projects identified by Rotary clubs such as ovens in Africa and trees is North Yorkshire. Because this is non political and non profitable it is a safe direction for offset involvement. We are currently talking to a local council about council employees being encouraged to use the site, and council identifying projects that will offer offset savings.
I believe offset, if safe and non profit making allows the individual user to join with others in making big projects possible, while at the same time providing a mental link to the environmental cost of using oil
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great idea. And here's another.
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RenewableCandy



Joined: 12 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was wondering how long it would be before that came up!

Oooh and welcome to Our Man In Sheffield btw Smile That wouldn't be the South Yorkshire Forest Partnership would it?
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't accept this 'offset' idea. Pay some money and carry on polluting? Pah.

Taking responsibility for your actions and reducing the hostile effects of them is the only way. Account for yourself - don't rely on someone else doing it for you.
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clv101
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
I can't accept this 'offset' idea. Pay some money and carry on polluting? Pah.

Taking responsibility for your actions and reducing the hostile effects of them is the only way. Account for yourself - don't rely on someone else doing it for you.


What's wrong with paying something to continue personal polluting? The environment doesn't care who pollutes - only the global total is important. If we can use the offset idea to make a few wealthy folk pay for a large number of poorer folk to clean up their act with a resulting net reduction in global pollution, then great.

Thing to remember is that people are not equal, never have been, never will be. There will always be rich and poor, people with access to lots of resource and people with less. That much is set in stone - the task is to use that to deliver net global benefits. The offset mechanism as the potential to do that.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:
The environment doesn't care who pollutes - only the global total is important.
Exactly. A relatively small number of people are doing the damage. Allowing them this get-out clause does nothing to reduce this global total: the opposite, in fact.

I don't get it: "a few wealthy folk pay for a large number of poorer folk to clean up their act"? How much pollution is caused by the billions who earn less than a few dollars a day?
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clv101
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="emordnilap"]
clv101 wrote:
I don't get it: "a few wealthy folk pay for a large number of poorer folk to clean up their act"? How much pollution is caused by the billions who earn less than a few dollars a day?

The point is that there is a net reduction - so how ever much the few wealthy are causing, their offset payments enable others to make bigger savings.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="clv101"]
emordnilap wrote:
clv101 wrote:
I don't get it: "a few wealthy folk pay for a large number of poorer folk to clean up their act"? How much pollution is caused by the billions who earn less than a few dollars a day?

The point is that there is a net reduction - so how ever much the few wealthy are causing, their offset payments enable others to make bigger savings.

If the money is invested in projects which would not have happened otherwise, then maybe. And that's a huge maybe.

Paying five quid as a sop for jetting to America doesn't strike me as in any way whatsoever as bringing about any reduction in pollution, especially reducing pollution now, not some unspecified 'maybe' future time.

Doesn't strike you as pitifully ironic that the poor of this world, who pollute a miniscule amount, are being asked to help us out in this way? The west is not doing anything to reduce its pollution - put the burden on others by 'sacrificing' a few quid. Talk about self-satisfied patronisation.

It is the rich of this world - you and I (I do include myself and I'm one of the 'better' ones) - who must, who will have no choice, make real sacrifices, not just two or three quid here and there.

The world requires a minimum of 60% cut in CO2 and equivalent emissions. That's an optimistic figure. How are people who produce very little pollution themselves going to achieve that with this offsetting lark? These are people struggling to get enough food to fend off starvation, expected to build wind farms (for what?) or biomass plants (for whom?) or plant trees (to eat, maybe?).

I repeat, the rich nations must take responsibility for their own actions. Offsets just allow us to delay and deny the inevitable.
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clv101
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
clv101 wrote:
emordnilap wrote:
I don't get it: "a few wealthy folk pay for a large number of poorer folk to clean up their act"? How much pollution is caused by the billions who earn less than a few dollars a day?

The point is that there is a net reduction - so how ever much the few wealthy are causing, their offset payments enable others to make bigger savings.

If the money is invested in projects which would not have happened otherwise, then maybe. And that's a huge maybe.

That goes without saying. We only need discuss offsets that do actually do what they claim to. I'd be the first criticise those that didn't!
emordnilap wrote:
Paying five quid as a sop for jetting to America doesn't strike me as in any way whatsoever as bringing about any reduction in pollution, especially reducing pollution now, not some unspecified 'maybe' future time.
Well, I didn't do the maths, by if 5 will buy enough Indian wind farm capacity to offset the an equal amount of CO2 which would otherwise have been emitted by coal fired generation then I'm happy.

emordnilap wrote:
Doesn't strike you as pitifully ironic that the poor of this world, who pollute a miniscule amount, are being asked to help us out in this way? The west is not doing anything to reduce its pollution - put the burden on others by 'sacrificing' a few quid. Talk about self-satisfied patronisation.

Help us out in this way?! We are paying for their future proofed infrastructure, they aren't helping us out at all. 'We' are spending money there because our money is more effective there than here. I don't see any burden being placed on India by hosting Western funded wind farms.

emordnilap wrote:
It is the rich of this world - you and I (I do include myself and I'm one of the 'better' ones) - who must, who will have no choice, make real sacrifices, not just two or three quid here and there.
For sure, but we must start with the easiest, most economical, best value savings. Saving a tonne of CO2 is FAR cheaper in India today then in the UK. Why do you prefer starting with the expensive approach?

emordnilap wrote:
The world requires a minimum of 60% cut in CO2 and equivalent emissions. That's an optimistic figure. How are people who produce very little pollution themselves going to achieve that with this offsetting lark? These are people struggling to get enough food to fend off starvation, expected to build wind farms (for what?) or biomass plants (for whom?) or plant trees (to eat, maybe?).
The price of saving carbon today is cheap - because it's set by the cheapest saving possible in the world... as we reduce the emissions, the cost will go up. Of course the few quid a tonne won't get up all the way to -60%. But after we've already cut 20%, it'll cost WAY more to get the 21st percentage point.

emordnilap wrote:
I repeat, the rich nations must take responsibility for their own actions. Offsets just allow us to delay and deny the inevitable.
Paying the true cost of preventing the emissions from occurring elsewhere in the world IS taking responsibility.
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contadino



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
I can't accept this 'offset' idea. Pay some money and carry on polluting? Pah.

Taking responsibility for your actions and reducing the hostile effects of them is the only way. Account for yourself - don't rely on someone else doing it for you.


Exactly. Offsetting is a cop out. Just stop polluting. No "ifs", no "buts". Stop creating the CO2. If you want to do some good so be it, but stop doing bad first.
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I don't really get about offsets is, why should they involve the 1/3world at all? As emordnilap says, per person the 1/3world does naff-all to contribute to the problem: might I add that if (for example) your offset takes the form of treeplanting, why not do that in somewhere like Scotland, where they are aparently trying to recreate the Caledonian forest and what's more, there are no desperate people nearby who'll pinch your saplings for firewood?

Probably the best form of offseting is to buy-and-retire ROCs: that way you know that someotherbugger has got to contribute, and another buy, renewable electric energy on the Grid, which would otherwise have been generated using coal or gas (sorry if I haven't put this very clearly but I know what I mean.... Smile ).
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You mean just sign up with Ecotricity.
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clv101
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RenewableCandy wrote:
What I don't really get about offsets is, why should they involve the 1/3world at all? As emordnilap says, per person the 1/3world does naff-all to contribute to the problem:

Because today it's cheaper and quicker to save CO2 in the 1/3 world than here. Renewable energy is more economical viable in the 1/3 world than the 1st; because their conventional electricity is more expensive than ours, emits more CO2 /kWh than ours and renewable deployment is cheaper and faster than here.

The per person issue isn't a factor. It's a tonne of CO2 per dollar per year question.
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