Skip to main content

Carbon Offsetting/Credits - The Murky Con of Net Zero Carbon Emissions

Ship sailing past chimneys of polluting smoke.
Photo by Chris LeBoutillier

Following on from my previous post, Regardless of Whether You Believe in Climate Change You Should at Least Believe in Better Environmental Practices, I made a passing reference to the con that is carbon offsetting.

In simple terms, it allows companies to continue to produce carbon emissions so long as they fund environmentally 'friendly' initiatives elsewhere. The whole concept has matured into the Carbon Credit/Offset scheme where companies can literally buy and sell carbon credits so they can claim 'reduced carbon emissions' or even 'net zero emissions' without actually reducing emissions at all.

Ever since I first heard of the concept of carbon offsetting and how it worked, I've said it was a scam. You don't need to do any research at all to know it is. 

To make an analogy, imagine if every week I empty my household trash onto your front lawn. It's a dick move. You wouldn't like it, and you'd expect me to clean it up and to never do it again, right?

Now let's say,  not only do I not want to clean my trash up from your lawn, I also want to continue dumping my trash on your lawn... every week. So, I decide to participate in Trash Offsetting. Trash offsetting gives me the option to pay for a gardener to maintain the upkeep of some local, community parkland down the road, so it looks nice for everybody.

Fantastic! The problem of me dumping my weekly garbage onto your front lawn is now not an issue at all because my Trash Dumping Offset is now zero. My trash is still building up on your lawn but the community parkland looks amazing so everybody is happy, right?

In very simple terms that's how carbon offsetting works. It doesn't actually stop poor environmental practices since companies can just budget in the cost of carbon offsetting as an expense. At best it may reduce carbon emissions, which is the point, but not really for companies that see the expense as something to be managed rather something that shouldn't be in the budget at all - if you're not producing carbon emissions.

Even worse is the buying and selling of Carbon Credits. Companies with more carbon credits than they need to achieve a net zero rating can sell those excess credits on. Sure, that's a good thing right? We've exceeded our contribution to reducing carbon emissions by so much that we can now sell our credit to companies who aren't as good as us at achieving net zero for a profit.

Excellent, what a real incentive for companies to exceed net zero quotas! Now we have this abstract idea of 'carbon credits' that may be linked to something that is helping the planet but it doesn't really matter because we just need the credits so we can get that net zero rating.

How's that trash pile on your lawn coming along?

For some more insight into why carbon offsetting/credits don't really work as intended watch the video below by YouTuber, Belinda Carr, who has a background in architecture and building construction industry, and makes essay style videos on engineering, technology, and other issues in related fields. 


Comments

Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET.

Popular posts from this blog

How to Transfer Any Line Art to Your Griptape - Easy Skateboard Griptape Art Tutorial

Dog Star Griptape Art by TET Griptape art is once again gaining popularity amongst modern skateboarders. For those of us who have tried to create our own griptape art, using paint pens, you'll know reproducing your design onto the grip, without making any mistakes is incredibly challenging. Mostly because you just have to go for it and draw the design freehand, with paint pens, directly onto the griptape. You can make the odd mistake here or there but if you get the proportions of the design completely wrong, it can be very difficult to fix. Often you just have to live with the mistake. To address the problem I've come up with an easy way anyone can transfer a line art design to their griptape, removing almost all the anxiety of getting the proportions wrong. In fact, you could do this with any line art design, even if you have no drawing skill at all. Watch the video below to see my technique in action and/or skip past the video where I highlight the basic steps to get your de

Skateboard Trick Tips: Two Ways to Ollie North (Ollie One foot)

You have to be quick to see my Ollie Norths! Ollie One Foots, otherwise known as the Ollie North, is one of those skateboard tricks you learn and then tend not to do very much as more interesting trick challenges grab your attention. However it does look really cool if you learn how to kick your front foot well past the nose of your skateboard. Still shot from Braille Skateboarding's Ollie North tutorial. I was inspired to make my video below, showing two different techniques to achieve a successful Ollie One Foot, when I not only saw that Braille Skateboarding's Tutorial used a different method to the one I had learned but also, when I looked at various other video tutorials, I discovered yet another technique, with no one using the method I had originally learned. Braille's method is to simply Ollie and drag your front foot past the front of your board. The second method I came across in several video tutorials is to Ollie, drag your front foot and tap your

Are Ion Thrusters the Future of Flying Cars? Spoiler - Probably Not But... Hover Boards... Maybe?

Undefined Technologies Ion Propulsion Drone prototype 3D concept image. You may have heard of Ion engines or, more likely, Ion thrusters. NASA uses them on their spacecraft to help maintain a craft's position or to propel them through space.  Upon hearing that you might think they're big, powerful engines, but actually they are not. They work well in the vacuum of space but, once any kind of atmosphere and gravity is involved they'd be hard pressed to launch you off the ground if you strapped four of them to your lawn chair and yelled "up, up, and away!" I am no expert on Ion thrusters - they're basically magic that science has an explanation for. If you want to know the details, The Space Techie website has a layman's explanation .  Build Your Own Ion Thruster Earth based Ion Thrusters work a bit different to their  space based cousins by Ionizing the same air that we breathe to create thrust (an effect known as Ionic-wind ).  While they sound highly soph

Book Review: Brand It Purple by Ashley Knoote-Parke

Ashley Knoote-Parke. Image: Facebook It seems almost redundant to review  Brand It Purple  given you probably won't find a hard copy edition without digging into the second hand market. The book's author and publisher, Ashley Knoote-Parke, seemingly, disappeared off the face of the Earth around about 2015. Which is a story in itself. However, the book is still a very informative guide and, while not specifically targeted at women, many may relate more to a book written by an experienced female entrepreneur. Brand It Purple is a personal marketing and branding guide released in 2009 by then, star on the rise author, Ashley Knoote-Parke, an English born, South African expatriate, who made Adelaide, South Australia her home. There she started her own publishing company releasing a photographic, coffee table book of South Australian sights, along with books showcasing female, then male, entrepreneurs. As well she published 'Brand It Purple'. I came across the b

I'm Joining the Illuminati Brotherhood By Personal Invitation of Hiltom Rothschild... Wait, What?

How special am I to have finally come of age (53 years young) and am now eligible to participate in building the world alongside other members of the Illuminati Brotherhood... Yes I've received the call by way of an email, which I'm sure is real because I had to translate it from the Dutch language and it was personally written by Hiltom Rothschild, one of the non-existent members of the Rothschild family (or perhaps deep undercover because Google has never heard of them?). A Transcript of the email below: To: etourist From: Illuminati Brotherhood  Subject: Illuminati Broederschap (Illuminati Brotherhood) I am Hiltom Rothschild, a member of the Rothschild family, one of the 13 families of the Illuminati brotherhood. I'm here to let you know that you've come of age and are eligible to participate in building the 🌎 world. It is a calling and a privilege to honor him with pride and gratitude as not everyone will ever be chosen by the LIGHT, many are called but few are ch

Robot Uprising Update: Robot Waiter, Fasta Pasta, South Terrace, Adelaide CBD, South Australia

On the second evening of my partner, Enigma, and I's weekend stay in Adelaide we decided to have dinner at Fasta Pasta . Strangely enough our hotel staff, at the Alba, had not mentioned Fasta Pasta as an option for an evening meal while their restaurant is closed for refurbishment, even though it is literally next door on the corner of South Terrace and Pultney Street. You may be aware that Fasta Pasta is an upmarket Italian restaurant franchise with its beginnings in Adelaide. Currently they have 19 restaurants Australia wide (with the majority in South Australia - we even have one in Gawler, our home town). I've never had bad food at a Fasta Pasta, and their food never looks like a franchise meal. You always feel you're at a restaurant that's a little bit more quality than your typical hotel/motel meal. Maybe it's because you don't see as much pasta based meals on an Aussie pub menu. Despite the name, it's not all pasta. I went with a basic plate of fish a

Movie Opinion: The Michael Keaton Batman Trilogy - Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), The Flash (2023)

The Michael Keaton Batman Trilogy on DVD. Despite its questionable CGI, troubled star, and the turmoil surrounding the DCEU's future when it was released, 2023's, The Flash does give us a new, and probably final, installment in Michael Keaton's run as Bruce Wayne/Batman. With that in mind, this holiday season, I had a real itch to spend a day binge watching what is now The Michael Keaton, Batman Trilogy .  To give you some context, I own every Batman movie (except Pattinson's The Batman ) on DVD, and every DCEU movie up to The Flash. The ones I don't own are only missing because I haven't gotten around to buying them, and they're likely still available on a streaming service I'm subscribed to. I've had Keaton's first two Batman movies in my collection for the best part of two decades but I can count on one hand how many times I've watched each. The last time was more than a decade ago.  Before I watched them recently, if you'd have asked