Murder Offsets

A fine is a price.

Carbon offsets are a voluntary penance mediated by an organization that promises to promote good elsewhere to make up for climate vice, much like indulgences paid to the church before the reformation. Essentially it's paying for the right to do wrong.

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10 Responses:

  1. Mildred Bonk says:

    Saw the title and assumed it was going to be about cops...

  2. Mark Crane says:

    A natural gas plant was built in our valley using offset credits purchased from a defunct steel mill. This image shows steam, but there are also a lot of particulates in that steam. Fun fact: In the winter, because of inversions, the air looks like Beijing, and that was before this plant was installed.

  3. andyjpb says:

    Until the last few seconds of the video I thought that this was some kind of satire about Police violence!

  4. Dude says:

    A recent Ted-Ed video:

    • jwz says:

      I think that whoever wrote that did not intend the takeaway to be, "This could have been solved decades earlier if the top priority was something other than 'do not under any circumstances reduce corporate profits.'"

      • Dude says:

        Hey, it wouldn't be a TED piece if (facts or no) its "change the world" lessons didn't eventually resort to "middlebrow megachurch infotainment" as they shied away from suggesting people loot the coffers of the rich (ie. something that actually would change the world for the better).

        No doubt because only the rich can afford the $6K-a-seat tickets to a live TED Talk.

        • Alexander S. says:

          To be fair, this video was created under a TED ED, which is technically different than regular TED talks. That said, does it really matter when the content still isn't going to blame the root cause?

  5. Floutsch says:

    On the surface it's really stupid. Less so, if you take into account that companies very often think in monetary terms. That's the "beauty" of capitalism. Make it expensive to produce CO2. Looking at how it works I come to two conclusions: 1) it's not clearly not nearly as expensive as it needed to be to work, 2) it's baffling how there are stories about companies micromanaging every little shit for cents on one hand and others about companies paying large sums to keep polluting.

    But don't get me wrong, I still think it'd be better to sanction CO2 output that trying to band-aid the whole issue with a carbon tax. Carbon offsets have something in common with the stock exchange: good idea on paper, but it is gamed so much that it offsets (heh) the underlying idea.

  6. tfb says:

    The problem isn't carbon offsets, something like which are inevitable if anyone ever wants to do anything which is not carbon neutral (or carbon negative which is what we need for a fair while ahead), like buying a bike say. It's that the things people call 'carbon offsets' are both hugely underpriced and that they're not actually carbon offsets at all: when you buy your 'carbon offset' no actual carbon is sunk from the atmosphere to make up for the carbon you source, or it only happens at some indefinite point in the future which is the same thing. 'Carbon offsets' are a con in other words.

    There's nothing wrong with net zero (net negative) which, again, is all we can ever achieve if we want things like cities to be able to exist. The problem is that 'net zero' is not actually net zero: it's a lie.

    I wish people would attack the right targets.

    [And before you attack me for being some shill for the fossil fuel industry: don't. I used to work on climate and I think anthropogenic climate change is by far the biggest medium/long term problem humans face. (And, unfortunately, that we're not going to solve it so it will kill billions of humans, most of them conveniently brown and poor. But we're definitely not going to solve it as long as we attack the wrong problem.)]

  7. Thomas LOrd says:

    Reminder: if fossil fuel burning is not reduced by well more than half in the next few years, with most of those reductions happening sooner rather than later, you'll be reading "too late now, game over" stories.

    The pre-pandemic world is dead one way or another.

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