Can Offsetting Be Fixed?

SmokePhoto: Señor Codo

As Kevin Anderson, a scientist at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, said: “Offsetting is a dangerous delay technique that helps us avoid dealing with the issue of climate change. It helps us sleep well at night when we shouldn’t be sleeping well at night.”

The booming companies that are part of the unregulated offset market are free to charge what consumers are willing to pay to receive peace of mind even though some of these carbon offsetting companies do little or nothing to resolve issues like global warming and excess pollution. Our thoughts about spending a little extra cash to compensate for our environmental ignorance has opened the door for modern snake oil salesmen. These organized banditos do little to stimulate the change needed to fend off a warming world or excessive carbon emissions.

Polluted riverPhoto: John Gibson

The offsetting business is quickly growing into a multi-million dollar industry that produces limited results and an enormous amount of questionable behavior. The simple solution and the most immediate fix to this future train wreck is to simply stop funding offset companies and use that hard earned cash to invest in renewable resources and for verifiable green and energy efficient goods and services. Once the demand for green products and services increases, the cost will decrease and they will become available to more mass consumers.

Another offsetting fix is to keep that personal money and use it to fund natural creativity; recycle and reuse things that are already owned. The ability to exert pressure on elected officials is another method of fixing offsetting issues. Government agencies could be doing more to police and regulate the greenhouse gas emissions across the board. Construction and drilling operations funded by greed and waste must be recognized for what they create in terms of negative energy and in carbon negligence.

More attention and personal resources must be directed to the conscious awareness of natural change and how we can deal with it, using the abundant natural resources that harmoniously exist around us.

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