In the Loop

In the Loop: February 8, 2007 Archive

What do Al Gore, Mick Jagger and the Superbowl have in common?

Posted at 1:12 PM on February 8, 2007 by Sanden Totten (2 Comments)

No, this isn't the start to some snappy joke (though if you can think of one that starts like this please post it below. Seriously.). It turns out that Al Gore, The Rolling Stones and even last week's Super Bowl are all carbon neutral.

Now I've heard plenty about going carbon neutral but it took me a while to actually understand how carbon offsetting works. I think I've figured it out. When you pay to offset your carbon emissions you give money to a company like NativeEnergy or the Carbon Neutral Company. They spend that money on a renewable energy source like a wind turbine, solar panels or trees. So you don't actually reduce your carbon emissions, but you help improve infrastructure for future carbon-less energy.

It's a win-win right? Some people don't think so. This article argues that some of the offsetting plans are bogus (like planting trees, which doesn't seem to do much in most climates to suck up carbon) and that "carbon neutrality" may just be a way for guilty people to feel better about their nasty habits without taking serious action to change them.

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