Carbon offsets are an unscientific fraud.
This is occasioned by my personal “carbon offset” tomato plants here in the southern med. They’ve produced loads of tasty fruit that we’ve eaten, and are now withering and dying as the temperature stays in the high 90s. So we’ve saved the planet? No.
But here’s the conventional wisdom:
John Buckley of Carbon Footprint, an organization that helps companies reduce their carbon dioxide emissions, said Saturday that Live Earth will produce about 74,500 tons of the gas.
“We would have to plant 100,000 trees to offset the effect of Live Earth,” he said, speaking by telephone. But, he added, “if you can reach 2 billion people and raise awareness, that’s pretty fantastic.”
Let’s use basic Physics and Biology to unpick Mr. Buckely
The global wameners argue that the world has gotten hotter by 1 degree F in the last century because, in improving human life, mankind released CO2 that was previously locked in coal and oil deposits safely underground.
The rich argue that they can continue to create CO2 because they can afford to pay for trees that use photosynthesis to convert CO2 to O2, locking up the carbon as glucose into their trunks and roots.
But trees, like all organisms, eventually die and decompose, releasing the carbon back into the atmosphere. As a sanity test imagine what would happen if they didn’t – the amount of CO2 would steadily diminish and the amount of O2 would steadily increase! Until the plants died, that is.
So all the carbon offestters are doing is removing their CO2 for – at best – a few decades, after which it’ll come flooding back to doom them.
And there’s another problem. Trees aren’t planted on bare land, but instead of some other vegetation, which will already be happily converting CO2 to O2. So the net gain of CO2 will be the difference between that pulled out by the trees and that pulled out by the original vegetation.
Finally of course, there’s no guarantee the trees won’t be burned in a forest fire, or when the forest is redeveloped. That gets the CO2 back real quick.
It follows that rational and educated carbon offsetters should take a chemical not organic route, taking CO2 from the atmosphere and locking it up in minerals that will hold it for the same millions of years that coal and oil have.
But they’re not rational, and not educated.
Just looking to make a quick buck off the latest fad of the elite.