Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Carbon Neutral Myth The Carbon Neutral Myth

Transnational Institute: The Carbon Neutral Myth is a fairly lengthy .pdf that shows a lot of the problems with the Carbon Neutral or Carbon Offset theories. For example:

- There are a myriad number of problems with using plants, notably trees, to offset fossil fuel usage, including that: the "benefit" is typically over a 99 year period, offsetting today's energy usage; the cost of planting trees is almost negligable compared with the cost of maintaining them for 99 years; the projects rarely really do maintain them; and that planting forests often causes significant ecological and social damage, esp. in the Third World.

- Many of the carbon offsetting energy reduction programs arguably don't really offset any real energy usage. For example, in a South African Compact Flourescent program: the participants probably spent more energy travelling to get the bulbs than was saved; and the utility company offered a free program to all its users shortly thereafter.

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