Suggestible as I am to the hypothesis that the passing passions of the left are tantamount to religions (or substitutes therefor), I had yet to be 100% convinced that environmentalism had reached this level. But when environmental confessors are selling the equivalent of indulgences by issuing, “carbon offsets” to David Suzuki, the Rolling Stones, and the owners of gassy cats, well, the analogy does seem more apt. From today’s Globe and Mail:
But in an era where hyper environmental sensitivities abound, the Suzuki organization, one of Canada's biggest anti-pollution think tanks, anticipated some might view it as hypocritical to talk about global warming and the environment, while burning fossil fuels to travel.
So the foundation pledged, before the tour began, that it would offset all of what it calls the "major" emissions of the trip.
"At the end of the tour, we will calculate the total emissions from the tour, and purchase high-quality carbon offsets that support renewable energy and energy efficiency projects," said Paul Lingl, a climate-change specialist with the foundation. The group says it's buying what it terms "gold standard" carbon offsets from my climate, a Zurich, Switzerland-based non-profit company that funds energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
Under carbon-offset schemes, individuals and groups can claim their activities cause no net addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere by funding projects that fully offset their emissions. Rock bands such as the Rolling Stones and organizations that want to burnish their environmental image have been buying these offsets for years.
Happlily, even if you are not Mick Jagger or an eco-gelical on a country-wide tour, purchasing an eco-indulgence is still within your reach. From Bloomberg News:
Sydney-based Easy Being Green says it will mitigate your cat's flatulent contribution to global warming for A$8 ($6). The same company could also make your granny "carbon-neutral" at A$10 a year, according to a report in the Australian newspaper last weekend.
Then there's Carbon Planet Pty, another company cited in the article. If you are hopping on a short-haul flight between Sydney and Canberra, and feeling bad about the damage you are doing to the ecosystem, you can buy credits worth A$23, for which the Adelaide-based company will guarantee to keep 1 ton of carbon dioxide out of the air for 100 years.
I am hardly the first person to catch on to this indulgence analogy, as this Google search suggests.
Officially Screwed and Dust My Broom are also on to Suzuki today.