Monday, April 30, 2007

No longer neutral about carbon neutrality...

Now that I am no longer required to sell 'carbon neutrality' to throngs of L.Aliens, I am inclined to discuss the ethical quagmire that is 'reducing one's carbon footprint.' In my time at WFM, I was expected to play up our 'carbon neutrality' and encourage our customers to buy wind power credits.
Today's NY Times article on the subject is pretty awesome, I think. There are a number of truly stupid things about buying your way to carbon neutrality--not the least of which, as the article notes, is that they are essentially plenary indulgences. The biggest environmental sinners can buy their way to eco-heaven. Not to mention the fact that where your money goes is somewhat mysterious. The money from a WFM wind power purchase goes to Renewable Choice, a privately-held energy brokerage. It's not a wind power farm-- indeed, you can't even find out which wind power farms benefit from your purchase. You are just giving money to a company that has little obligation to inform you, the consumer, of their business practices. Granted, they are certified by Green-e, an off-shoot of a non-profit.
Soo, the whole process is somewhat dubious. I mean, I'm sure it's somewhat beneficial to buy these energy credits or whatever. It's probably better than just blindly flying around the country. Any tool that suggests buying energy credits before, for instance, using less energy at home or recycling is not, in my opinion, a particularly useful one.

1 comment:

Bill McClain said...

"As soon as coin in coffer rings, the soul from Bad Liberal Hell Springs."

Man, I could have done your job. It's easy.