Global Warming Follies

Easier then ever to reveal your shame!

Posted in Follies by tjgavin on September 5, 2008

Now it is easier than ever to calculate your carbon footprint for a trip involving air travel! The Carbon Planet Flight Emissions Calculator will take each leg of your trip and figure out how much emission you are at fault for irresponsibly spewing into the fragile atmosphere.  For example, one round trip between Chicago Midway and New York’s JFK will emit 0.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide. For an analysis of how absolutely minute airline emissions are, see our previous post on the matter.

But wait, there’s more!

Not only can you find out the extent of your shame, the site even provides an opportunity to purchase credits to offset your emissions! This is a prime example of independent companies (unless they are secretly sponsored by the airlines) turning climate change into an economic tool. For only AU$25, you can feel better about emitting carbon dioxide at a concentration less than a drop of food coloring in Lake Michigan (approximation, not a scientific calculation).  The Carbon Planet organization even admits to being focused on providing “sustainable revenue streams” by helping companies issue carbon credits. We’ve predicted this effect of the climate change movement and are seeing it come to fruition. Kudos to a company in a free market capitalizing on an opportunity; it’s just a shame that it coincides with the endorsement of a faulty political movement.


2 Responses to 'Easier then ever to reveal your shame!'

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  1. Dave Sag said,

    Thanks for the plug, most appreciated. No we are not secretly funded by airlines (alas, it would make life easier not to have to actually work for a living). I do however have to pick you up on the comment “carbon dioxide at a concentration less than a drop of food coloring in Lake Michigan”.

    Just because the actual quantity of CO2 (and other GHGs) in the air is very small does not imply it has no effect. If I added a drop of liquid LSD to a large public reservoir it would have a rather dramatic effect, even at those very very tiny doses, especially if I then told the papers 🙂

    Yes airline emissions are small, around 4% of world totals, but the growth in those emissions over the next 30 years is anticipated to be massive, at a time when the world is doing its best to reduce those emissions. Anyway, as I am sure you understand, every little bit helps.

    Honestly I really don’t care however if you believe the IPCC, or prefer to regard the carbon economy as a ‘faulty political movement’. The entire world’s economy is moving towards a carbon constrained future. You can either be on the plane, or miss it. Either way that particular plane is leaving now. Consumers prefer ‘green’ products and services, that is beyond dispute, although what ‘green’ may mean is not. Businesses, maybe not yet in the USA but globally where the economy is more robust, are flocking to incorporate carbon management into their operations, goods and services. They are adding specifics about GHGs to their procurement policies and are forcing an overhaul to entire supply chains.

    The bottom line is that the carbon economy is about eliminating economic externalities, those ‘costs’ that never quite make it into the advertised price of things. Being able to dump pollutants into the air was something firms could do for free, and now they have to pay for it. Once we have this carbon problem licked, and it’s not that hard to solve, we have harder problems to address. Biodiversity loss, poverty alleviation, social justice, all of these things are currently economic externalities and will be dragged, kicking and screaming in many cases, but inevitably, onto the corporate chart of accounts. And then they will be managed properly like any other asset class. It’s capitalism 2.0 and I love it.

    Dave Sag
    Founder and Executive Director
    Carbon Planet Limited

  2. Erin said,

    Wow, it got a lot windier in here all of sudden.

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