Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

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knightrider
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Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by knightrider » Fri May 11, 2018 9:15 am

The older I get the more I worry about my carbon footprint. I used to fly all over the place. Now I question the value of burning 100+ gallons of fuel just to do "sight-seeing". So this got me thinking about buying carbon offsets.

On one hand it sounds like a good idea. But on the other hand, why aren't these included in the ticket price? Is it my responsibility or the airlines responsibility? This opens up the debate of whether vote with your dollar is effective..

The good news is carbon offsets are relatively cheap for the peace of mind it gives me. Curious how others grapple with this moral dilemma..

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DanMahowny
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by DanMahowny » Fri May 11, 2018 9:28 am

No moral dilemma here. In my view it's a complete waste of money. Sorry man.
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strafe
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by strafe » Fri May 11, 2018 9:33 am

In before the lock...

If you actually want to lower your carbon footprint, rather than just feel pious, you should become a vegetarian.

ResearchMed
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by ResearchMed » Fri May 11, 2018 9:33 am

Do "carbon offsets" do anything other than transfer money from one person/business to another?

How do they actually have any effect on one's actual carbon footprint?

RM
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deanbrew
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by deanbrew » Fri May 11, 2018 9:41 am

DanMahowny wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 9:28 am
No moral dilemma here. In my view it's a complete waste of money. Sorry man.
My thoughts exactly. I'm not feeling guilty about spending my own hard-earned money doing what I want. If that means flying or driving, so be it. I'd feel the same way if I raced cars or had a boat. I don't even understand the dilemma.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

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Raymond
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by Raymond » Fri May 11, 2018 9:44 am

If I were that concerned about my carbon footprint, I wouldn't fly at all.

I wouldn't drive either - I'd walk to my destination :happy

Seriously, though, the plane will fly and use the fuel whether or not you are on board (unless everyone decided to cancel their reservations.)
"Ritter, Tod und Teufel"

knightrider
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by knightrider » Fri May 11, 2018 9:48 am

Raymond wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 9:44 am
If I were that concerned about my carbon footprint, I wouldn't fly at all.

I wouldn't drive either - I'd walk to my destination :happy

Seriously, though, the plane will fly and use the fuel whether or not you are on board (unless everyone decided to cancel their reservations.)
Yup, I already walk to work ( 5 miles roundtrip ) and am a vegetarian.. So looking for other things I can do reduce my carbon footprint while still living a "modern" life...

knightrider
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by knightrider » Fri May 11, 2018 9:50 am

Raymond wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 9:44 am
Seriously, though, the plane will fly and use the fuel whether or not you are on board (unless everyone decided to cancel their reservations.)
This kind of logic reminds me of this joke from The Onion:

'How Bad For The Environment Can Throwing Away One Plastic Bottle Be?' 30 Million People Wonder"

https://www.theonion.com/how-bad-for-th ... 1819571260

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri May 11, 2018 9:56 am

If you are concerned you shouldn't fly. Buying carbon credits aren't really going to undo the fact you are flying.

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Rainier
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by Rainier » Fri May 11, 2018 9:59 am

DaftInvestor wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 9:56 am
If you are concerned you shouldn't fly. Buying carbon credits aren't really going to undo the fact you are flying.
Yep, don't fly.

Also, don't drive.

Definitely do not eat. Even as a vegetarian you are killing green plants that are scrubbing C02 from the air.

Also, cut way back on breathing. Main by product is C02 and heat, the two things that are dooming us all apparently.

Hogan773
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by Hogan773 » Fri May 11, 2018 10:00 am

The skeptic in me thinks that whatever payment you make to "offset" will somehow not end up doing its job, but I am not one to feel guilty about my carbon footprint anyway

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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by TravelGeek » Fri May 11, 2018 10:01 am

[response to off-topic comment removed by moderator --triceratop]

OP, I don’t buy carbon offsets.

I do try to minimize my overall footprint by eating a veg diet, driving fuel efficient vehicles, generating my own electricity (solar) and walking wherever I can instead of getting in the car.
Last edited by triceratop on Fri May 11, 2018 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri May 11, 2018 10:01 am

knightrider wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 9:48 am
Raymond wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 9:44 am
If I were that concerned about my carbon footprint, I wouldn't fly at all.

I wouldn't drive either - I'd walk to my destination :happy

Seriously, though, the plane will fly and use the fuel whether or not you are on board (unless everyone decided to cancel their reservations.)
Yup, I already walk to work ( 5 miles roundtrip ) and am a vegetarian.. So looking for other things I can do reduce my carbon footprint while still living a "modern" life...
Install solar panels. The app that monitors my panels tells me that I’ve saved 154,000 pounds of CO2 emissions (or, “planted” 3,900 trees). Side benefit, I don’t pay for my electrical use, and actually get a monthly credit.

You’re a vegetarian, so I can’t recommend grass fed beef, but I can recommend having chickens for eggs (or buy from someone who ethically and sustainably keeps chickens). Added benefit: they taste way better. Grass fed cows make tastier milk and cheese also.

FullYellowJacket
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by FullYellowJacket » Fri May 11, 2018 10:02 am

I think the actionable part of your question is about the effect of purchasing carbon assets. I'm a little skeptical. I think your money is probably better spent making your home more efficient and your own carbon footprint smaller, i.e. not flying (or driving much). Purchasing carbon assets from a 501(c)(3) may be tax deductible so check in to that. I don't know why this post should be locked? It's not really discussing politics, only what is the best way to reduce one's carbon footprint.

strafe
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by strafe » Fri May 11, 2018 10:05 am

knightrider wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 9:48 am
Raymond wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 9:44 am
If I were that concerned about my carbon footprint, I wouldn't fly at all.

I wouldn't drive either - I'd walk to my destination :happy

Seriously, though, the plane will fly and use the fuel whether or not you are on board (unless everyone decided to cancel their reservations.)
Yup, I already walk to work ( 5 miles roundtrip ) and am a vegetarian.. So looking for other things I can do reduce my carbon footprint while still living a "modern" life...
If you were not a vegetarian, the calculus of walking versus driving to work might favor driving.

Sounds like you have already optimized your behavior to minimize your carbon footprint, within reasonable contraints. Achieving zero carbon emissions is incompatible with aerobic respiration. How far you pursue this quest is a personal decision. Like others, I don't see this as a moral dilemma, and am skeptical that carbon offsets for air travel are the most effective means to achieve further carbon reductions, compared to, say, home energy improvements. Maybe there are services that perform carbon audits for individuals and rank potential interventions by cost effectiveness (CO2 averted per $ spent)?

ResearchMed
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by ResearchMed » Fri May 11, 2018 10:06 am

Hogan773 wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:00 am
The skeptic in me thinks that whatever payment you make to "offset" will somehow not end up doing its job, but I am not one to feel guilty about my carbon footprint anyway
Thanks.
This is exactly why I asked my question above, which I am repeating in hopes of some sort of substantive response beyond discussions about whether this is politically (or other metric) correct.
ResearchMed wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 9:33 am
Do "carbon offsets" do anything other than transfer money from one person/business to another?

How do they actually have any effect on one's actual carbon footprint?

RM
How do these "credits" work?

Who gets money, and, more importantly, what are they [supposed to be] doing with it?

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

Glockenspiel
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by Glockenspiel » Fri May 11, 2018 10:06 am

FullYellowJacket wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:02 am
I don't know why this post should be locked? It's not really discussing politics, only what is the best way to reduce one's carbon footprint.
Agreed. This isn't discussing politics. This is a consumer issue.

SuperGrafx
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by SuperGrafx » Fri May 11, 2018 10:06 am

DanMahowny wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 9:28 am
No moral dilemma here. In my view it's a complete waste of money. Sorry man.
100% agreed.

knightrider
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by knightrider » Fri May 11, 2018 10:12 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:06 am

How do these "credits" work?

Who gets money, and, more importantly, what are they [supposed to be] doing with it?

RM
See: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/i ... 180952222/

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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by samsoes » Fri May 11, 2018 10:12 am

SuperGrafx wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:06 am
DanMahowny wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 9:28 am
No moral dilemma here. In my view it's a complete waste of money. Sorry man.
100% agreed.
It's guilt money. Total waste.
"Happiness Is Not My Companion" - Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren. | (Avatar is the statue of Gen. Warren atop Little Round Top @ Gettysburg National Military Park.)

FullYellowJacket
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by FullYellowJacket » Fri May 11, 2018 10:15 am

https://www.terrapass.com/projects/project-list

https://nativeenergy.com/our-approach/carbon-offsets/

For the most part, it looks like real projects get built. And at the very least, carbon offsetting is not expensive. $170 offsets your carbon usage for the year.

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Alexa9
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by Alexa9 » Fri May 11, 2018 10:18 am

There are many ways to help the planet if you so desire. Conservation, reducing pollution, sustainability, reduce/reuse/recyce, etc.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri May 11, 2018 10:22 am

FullYellowJacket wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:15 am
https://www.terrapass.com/projects/project-list

https://nativeenergy.com/our-approach/carbon-offsets/

For the most part, it looks like real projects get built. And at the very least, carbon offsetting is not expensive. $170 offsets your carbon usage for the year.
If someone is concerned then isn't what they should is not fly AND also buy offsets to contribute to these product (taking the money they would have spent on the flight/vacation - give it to the project)?

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Leif
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by Leif » Fri May 11, 2018 10:32 am

No. But I am concerned with the rapid CO2 increase. I bought an EV and use that for most trips instead of flying or using a gasoline powered car.

ResearchMed
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by ResearchMed » Fri May 11, 2018 10:34 am

knightrider wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:12 am
ResearchMed wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:06 am

How do these "credits" work?

Who gets money, and, more importantly, what are they [supposed to be] doing with it?

RM
See: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/i ... 180952222/
Thanks very much.
That was really interesting and informative.

However, for some of the "projects", is there really any longer term effect?

For example, projects such as:

"Another project, funded by Delta passengers, avoids the emission of over 445,000 metric tons of CO2 by purchasing forests in southern Chile that would otherwise have been converted for land use—the equivalent of not consuming 50,073,141 gallons of gasoline."
[quoted from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/i ... 180952222/]

How likely is it that whoever was originally planning to "convert" that particular land... would just convert other land, for the same purpose?

This is all quite different from "doing things" that have a direct effect (walking locally instead of driving, minimizing waste, solar panels (credit to TomatoTomahto above), etc.)?
Many of these actions also "save money", but many people still don't do too many.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

FullYellowJacket
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by FullYellowJacket » Fri May 11, 2018 10:34 am

DaftInvestor wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:22 am
FullYellowJacket wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:15 am
https://www.terrapass.com/projects/project-list

https://nativeenergy.com/our-approach/carbon-offsets/

For the most part, it looks like real projects get built. And at the very least, carbon offsetting is not expensive. $170 offsets your carbon usage for the year.
If someone is concerned then isn't what they should is not fly AND also buy offsets to contribute to these product (taking the money they would have spent on the flight/vacation - give it to the project)?
Possibly. Not to head this thread into climate science territory, but (according to IPCC) models show we need to have massive negative CO2 emissions in the future to keep below 2.5-3 degrees C warming. Frankly the numbers are too mindbogglingly big for a few hundred dollars in carbon offsets to matter.

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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by CedarWaxWing » Fri May 11, 2018 10:40 am

TravelGeek wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:01 am
OP, I don’t buy carbon offsets.

I do try to minimize my overall footprint by eating a veg diet, driving fuel efficient vehicles, generating my own electricity (solar) and walking wherever I can instead of getting in the car.
Nice work.

emoore
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by emoore » Fri May 11, 2018 10:40 am

Leif wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:32 am
No. But I am concerned with the rapid CO2 increase. I bought an EV and use that for most trips instead of flying or using a gasoline powered car.
+1. I think it's important to look at decreasing the amount of CO2 released. I'm frankly shocked at some of the comments in this thread. I know it's a sensitive subject (which it shouldn't be any more sensitive than any other scientific field of study) but I think something needs to be done and done quickly.

Wellfleet
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by Wellfleet » Fri May 11, 2018 10:40 am

knightrider wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 9:15 am

On one hand it sounds like a good idea. But on the other hand, why aren't these included in the ticket price? Is it my responsibility or the airlines responsibility? This opens up the debate of whether vote with your dollar is effective..
There are no U.S. or international regulations requiring airlines or any mobile transportation for that matter to control their carbon emissions. You may see this coming because airline regulations are international and many countries are interested in this.

There is also no market demand for airlines to provide this service as part their ticket price. Same reason you no longer get a great meal when flying, the market prefers lower prices to complementary services.

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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by Darth Xanadu » Fri May 11, 2018 10:41 am

[response to off-topic comment removed by moderator --triceratop]

Separately, although there are fundamental differences, one could make the argument that carbon offsets are not dissimilar from charitable giving. So calling it a "waste" is really a judgement call. However, I've never done it and have no plans to.
"A courageous teacher, failure is."

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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by Texanbybirth » Fri May 11, 2018 10:42 am

knightrider wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:12 am
ResearchMed wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:06 am

How do these "credits" work?

Who gets money, and, more importantly, what are they [supposed to be] doing with it?

RM
See: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/i ... 180952222/
Thanks, I really liked that article.

I hope this thread doesn't get locked. I haven't seen much political or "religious" (what?!) talk. I'd rather see just the comments that do get too "political" deleted.

knightrider
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by knightrider » Fri May 11, 2018 10:43 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:34 am

How likely is it that whoever was originally planning to "convert" that particular land... would just convert other land, for the same purpose?
Of course they can buy other land, but that land will probably be more expensive/ less convenient.. No one is claiming carbon offsets are the be-all end-all. They are just steps in the right direction.. It's the same thing with the throwing away one plastic bottle . It makes no difference whether I do it or not. But when 30 million do it everyday, it matters..

AZAttorney11
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by AZAttorney11 » Fri May 11, 2018 10:51 am

Lol!!!

knightrider
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by knightrider » Fri May 11, 2018 10:52 am

DaftInvestor wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:22 am
If someone is concerned then isn't what they should is not fly AND also buy offsets to contribute to these product (taking the money they would have spent on the flight/vacation - give it to the project)?
There are times when you have to fly because there is no "green" way to get there. Also flying is great, we need it for the future "health" of our planet.. It would be awesome if there was a zero-emission solar powered plane.. Sadly they don't exist yet.. So until that happens, carbon offsets seem like the most sensible way to fly "green".

SmallSaver
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by SmallSaver » Fri May 11, 2018 10:54 am

Knightrider, your question is perfectly appropriate and actionable. Some of the largest companies in the US (Google, Apple, Microsoft, many, many others) use carbon offsets to help meet their environmental goals. A few plane flights can easily dominate your annual GHG emissions.

That said, offsets have two major practical problems: (1) Verifiability, are the projects that the offset is supposed to support actually happening? (2) Additionality, would they happen anyway? If so, did the offset actually do anything? There's enough problems and complexity with offsets that I shy away from them when I am working on reducing business GHG emissions. If you do want to use them you'll need to do some homework. I'd start with the World Resources Institute. If I were to purchase credits, I would not immediately trust an airline program to be a good one, rather I'd probably buy them on my own.

Finally, a question: why should this topic be de facto locked? Again, many of the largest companies in the world, which make up large parts of TSM, are taking action to address climate change. To suggest that it can't even be mentioned on the forum leaves a huge hole in the discussion around financially planning for the future. Rather than locking the thread, perhaps we all can endeavor to continue the tradition of civil discussion that makes this forum so great.
Last edited by SmallSaver on Fri May 11, 2018 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

TravelGeek
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by TravelGeek » Fri May 11, 2018 10:58 am

It would be interesting to get a bit more than “complete waste of money” from those who don’t buy credits. Because those statements add no value to the discussion or help the OP.

I stated above that I don’t buy credits. It’s because of inertia. When I see the “checkbox” while making a travel booking on some airlines, I am not sure what I am “buying” and and so I choose “no” and tell myself I will look into it later. But so far I haven’t “had the time” to research what happens to my money (all these BH threads don’t read themselves, after all). It is a poor excuse and I should really spend a bit of time looking into it. Thanks to those who posted some links for me to start.

Regarding choosing to not fly... I made the decision to live far away from close family members many years ago. So now flying is the only choice of visiting. Not something I can easily fix. And I also like seeing the world (see my username). I guess all have our flaws :/

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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by The Wizard » Fri May 11, 2018 11:05 am

FullYellowJacket wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:02 am
... I don't know why this post should be locked? It's not really discussing politics, only what is the best way to reduce one's carbon footprint.
It depends on how the discussion veers and which mod sees it, since this topic borders on Climate Change which, unfortunately, has become a Political Issue rather than a scientific one...
Attempted new signature...

ResearchMed
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by ResearchMed » Fri May 11, 2018 11:13 am

knightrider wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:43 am
ResearchMed wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:34 am

How likely is it that whoever was originally planning to "convert" that particular land... would just convert other land, for the same purpose?
Of course they can buy other land, but that land will probably be more expensive/ less convenient.. No one is claiming carbon offsets are the be-all end-all. They are just steps in the right direction.. It's the same thing with the throwing away one plastic bottle . It makes no difference whether I do it or not. But when 30 million do it everyday, it matters..
Thanks.
Your point about "the other land" possibly being less convenient/more expensive/etc., is well taken.

However, the bit about "one plastic bottle" being thrown away isn't the same at all.
Last I knew, if I throw away a plastic bottle, no one else the *therefore* adding another totally new bottle to replace it.
If anything, quite the opposite, IF someone rescues my "thrown away" bottle and helps it find its way to recycling. Obviously, that someone is likely to be me when possible.

I'm just trying to figure out what really "helps", and what... less so...
(At some point, this also gets into "what is the cost - dollar and environmental - of even manufacturing things like solar panels, especially the environmental costs, for this discussion.)

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by wheelworm » Fri May 11, 2018 11:20 am

The Wizard wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 11:05 am
FullYellowJacket wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:02 am
... I don't know why this post should be locked? It's not really discussing politics, only what is the best way to reduce one's carbon footprint.
It depends on how the discussion veers and which mod sees it, since this topic borders on Climate Change which, unfortunately, has become a Political Issue rather than a scientific one...
Shouldn't the mod see it as a matter of consumer choice, since that is how OP framed it? Climate change is a matter of science which, like literally almost anything else, can become political when discussion turns to what government should or shouldn't do about it. So far, fortunately, nobody seems to be stepping in that one.

@knightrider - Your post is the first I'd ever though of it, or realized the option existed. I see some ethical appeal, but also the potential, as some have hinted, for the system to be abused if carbon offsets were generated by entities which, absent compensation, wouldn't have generated the carbon to begin with.

Glockenspiel
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by Glockenspiel » Fri May 11, 2018 11:22 am

The Wizard wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 11:05 am
FullYellowJacket wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:02 am
... I don't know why this post should be locked? It's not really discussing politics, only what is the best way to reduce one's carbon footprint.
It depends on how the discussion veers and which mod sees it, since this topic borders on Climate Change which, unfortunately, has become a Political Issue rather than a scientific one...
This is no more of a political issue than, say, the role penicillin had in reducing soldier death's during World War II. I think we can all enjoy a consumer discussion of the pros and cons of purchasing carbon offsets.

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Rainier
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by Rainier » Fri May 11, 2018 11:38 am

For those of you saving the planet by walking to work, what makes you think that emits net less carbon than driving? There is no free energy and cars are remarkably efficient at burning fuel (humans, not so much).

runner3081
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by runner3081 » Fri May 11, 2018 11:46 am

The plane is likely making that flight whether I am on it or not. I see no need to contribute.

FullYellowJacket
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by FullYellowJacket » Fri May 11, 2018 11:48 am

runner3081 wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 11:46 am
The plane is likely making that flight whether I am on it or not. I see no need to contribute.
If multiple people do not fly, less flights per route per day are flown.

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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by HongKonger » Fri May 11, 2018 11:49 am

I used to offset annually choosing specific reforestation schemes. Now I have reduced my footprint right down and take every opportunity to educate and support other people reducing theirs too - I believe this is the way to go.

If you are already veggie, then consider going vegan - the dairy industry is actually worse than the meat industry.
Ditch the aircon, the clothes dryer, vampire energy, swap to LEDs.
Eat local/seasonal and support your local organic growers - grow some of your own food if you can.
Reduce consumption overall and try to go plastic free.

Try to encourage changes at your workplace too.

Finally - the aviation industry globally contributes only 2% of global greenhouse gasses and as an industry is doing more to reduce emissions than just about any other industry.

FullYellowJacket
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by FullYellowJacket » Fri May 11, 2018 11:52 am

Rainier wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 11:38 am
For those of you saving the planet by walking to work, what makes you think that emits net less carbon than driving? There is no free energy and cars are remarkably efficient at burning fuel (humans, not so much).
The carbon footprint of driving is far greater than just the gas burned.

DragonJoey3
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by DragonJoey3 » Fri May 11, 2018 11:57 am

I haven't personally bought carbon offsets due to the feeling I get that my money can be best spent elsewhere. I'm not sure they are actually as efficient at reducing emissions as other things. If you really want to minimize your carbon footprint there are any number of great alternatives ranging from planting trees to operate as carbon sinks, to buying solar panels to reduce demand on the electric grid. Carbon offsets feel a little like paying someone for shooting their cat. The damage is still done, but you pay out of guilt. I choose to focus my efforts on more actionable things when it comes to environmental impacts.

jalbert
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by jalbert » Fri May 11, 2018 12:01 pm

No amount of paying for carbon offsets will undo the effect of the plane trip. You could buy the carbon offsets and still decline the plane trip. That is therefore the baseline to which the plane trip should be compared. To see that clearly, turn it around and ask if you take plane trips to consume the carbon offsets you buy.

The solution is to take fewer but longer trips, so you get the same number of days away from home but with fewer plane trips.
Last edited by jalbert on Fri May 11, 2018 12:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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telemark
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by telemark » Fri May 11, 2018 12:02 pm

Rainier wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 11:38 am
For those of you saving the planet by walking to work, what makes you think that emits net less carbon than driving? There is no free energy and cars are remarkably efficient at burning fuel (humans, not so much).
The car has to move not only me but also a ton or so of metal and plastic. Also, the car engine only operates when I'm using it, but I'm breathing all the time whether I'm walking or not.

SmallSaver
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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by SmallSaver » Fri May 11, 2018 12:13 pm

telemark wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 12:02 pm
Rainier wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 11:38 am
For those of you saving the planet by walking to work, what makes you think that emits net less carbon than driving? There is no free energy and cars are remarkably efficient at burning fuel (humans, not so much).
The car has to move not only me but also a ton or so of metal and plastic. Also, the car engine only operates when I'm using it, but I'm breathing all the time whether I'm walking or not.
We're getting far afield, but I can't help myself. Your point is totally correct. In addition, The C I produce is biogenic - plants turn CO2 into biomass, I turn biomass into CO2, net effect on the atmosphere is 0. Fossil fuels move C from the geosphere into the atmosphere, increasing the concentration in the latter.
Last edited by SmallSaver on Fri May 11, 2018 12:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

Post by PVW » Fri May 11, 2018 12:13 pm

telemark wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 12:02 pm
Rainier wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 11:38 am
For those of you saving the planet by walking to work, what makes you think that emits net less carbon than driving? There is no free energy and cars are remarkably efficient at burning fuel (humans, not so much).
The car has to move not only me but also a ton or so of metal and plastic. Also, the car engine only operates when I'm using it, but I'm breathing all the time whether I'm walking or not.
Burning extra calories also has an environmental impact.

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