Monday, September 3, 2007

The "Well...DUH!" Global Warming post of the day

Thanks to yesterday's LA Times for revealing what most of us less-gullible folks already knew:

The Oscar-winning film "An Inconvenient Truth" touted itself as the world's first carbon-neutral documentary.

The producers said that every ounce of carbon emitted during production -- from jet travel, electricity for filming and gasoline for cars and trucks -- was counterbalanced by reducing emissions somewhere else in the world. It only made sense that a film about the perils of global warming wouldn't contribute to the problem.

Co-producer Lesley Chilcott used an online calculator to estimate that shooting the film used 41.4 tons of carbon dioxide and paid a middleman, a company called Native Energy, $12 a ton, or $496.80, to broker a deal to cut greenhouse gases elsewhere. The film's distributors later made a similar payment to neutralize carbon dioxide from the marketing of the movie.

It was a ridiculously good deal with one problem: So far, it has not led to any additional emissions reductions.

So $496.80 is all it cost the producers of this joke to claim that the film was "carbon-neutral". Of course if Algore (pbuh) and company really wanted to make a dent, they could have spent more of the profits (which they claim are going to "education" about global warming) on these "off-sets". Except of course they are in on the swindle.

Beneath the feel-good simplicity of buying your way to carbon neutrality is a growing concern that the idea is more hype than solution.

According to Native Energy, money from "An Inconvenient Truth," along with payments from others trying to neutralize their emissions, went to the developers of a methane collector on a Pennsylvanian farm and three wind turbines in an Alaskan village.

As it turned out, both projects had already been designed and financed, and the contributions from Native Energy covered only a minor fraction of their costs.

"If you really believe you're carbon neutral, you're kidding yourself," said Gregg Marland, a fossil-fuel pollution expert at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee who has been watching the evolution of the new carbon markets. "You can't get out of it that easily."The race to save the planet from global warming has spawned a budding industry of middlemen selling environmental salvation at bargain prices."

Oh well. Looks like the people who buy "carbon-offsets" are the same folk who probably would have bought this:

Look. You want to invest inexpensively in a "green" project to alleviate your guilt over your carbon footprint? Try this.


Anonymous said...

Now a day global warming controversy is very hype. NASA sciencetists completely work on global warming research. According the sciencetists after 30 year earth is completely effected by global warming.

Nigel said...

Thanks Michelle for that articulate rebuttal. You've changed my mind.