April 19, 2016

"Flying (especially on short flights) is among the least sustainable ways to travel, according to groups such as the Environmental Defense Fund."

"Some airlines allow you to try to compensate for the carbon footprint you create when flying, however, by buying what are known as carbon offsets, or various ways to reduce greenhouse gases. Passengers on airlines like Delta and United can calculate their carbon footprint on the airline websites, which equate the size of a trip’s carbon footprint with a dollar figure. They can then donate their money or miles to a carbon reduction project such as forest conservation or renewable energy. Airlines are not the only ones offering offsets, though...."

#1 on "10 Ways to Be a Greener Traveler, Even if You Love to Fly."

Just pay for the absolution of your sins. Someone is available to receive your payments.


Image credit: Lucas Cranach the Elder.

77 comments:

campy said...

Or you could just ask a lefty pol or Hollywood type to forego a Gulfstream jaunt.

Ipso Fatso said...

A modern day Papal Bull.

David Begley said...

When will a Martin Luther rise up against the Greens?

Probably never as it is way too personally risky. Sen Sheldon Whiehouse wants the DOJ to file a RICO lawsuit against Exxon. Twenty State AG's have filed lawsuits against dissenters.

Mark Steyn is the only modern analogy to Luther.

rehajm said...

The carbon offset fallacy was invented by proselytizing Al Gore types flying all over the place spreading their BS. Not actual Al Gore but to those like him with enough self awareness to be disturbed by their own hypocrisy.

Michael K said...

"There is a sucker born every minute"
PT Barnum.

Nonapod said...

They can then donate their money or miles to a carbon reduction project such as forest conservation or renewable energy.

This is my problem with the entire carbon offset concept: There's never a question whether this actually does anything substantially good for the environment. There's never a question whether this money may just end up in the pockets of grifters, (whether they're government or private). It's just an indulgence for the church of climate change, allowing you to commit climate sins and still get into enviro-heaven.

Chuck said...

If you fly on a Gulfstream IV with Leonardo Di Caprio and George Clooney, my understanding is that there is no environmental problem whatsoever.

cubanbob said...

Greens should never fly, or ride in cars, trains or buses or ships or any fueled powered vehicles of any kind. They should be compelled to walk, swim or float wherever they go and no animals shall be exploited by them for transportation or food. They should also be immediately flogged for any deviation or infraction of the no transportation (or food) by other than as specified as penance for their grievous sin. Only then should they be taken somewhat seriously.

Chuck said...

Yipes I just read the first comment. I guess some jokes are just too obvious. Oh well; great minds think alike. My sincere apology for the repetition.

rehajm said...

Long walks off short piers should be #1.

Fernandinande said...

That dog looks unrepentant.

El Camino Real said...

The religion that dare not speak its name.

Owen said...

Nonapod: "...It's just an indulgence for the church of climate change, allowing you to commit climate sins and still get into enviro-heaven."

Of course it is! And it's a wonderful market/church, as long as it lasts (which, as we see, can be a very long time indeed, in a society rich enough to be this stupid). Both sides get what they want. The people buying the indulgences get what they bargained for, which is that warm glow of virtue and a sense they are "doing something," plus they can show off for their friends. A carbon-free air-freshener for their Tesla. All this stuff is subjective --about as real as the experience delivered in a movie or TV show by some of the best practitioners of the enviro sanctimony-- so it costs almost nothing to produce. Which means that the producers and sellers of the indulgence can pocket almost the entire proceeds, merely paying off the various agitators and subsidiary groups that keep the whole thing going.

Makes me want to re-read Chaucer to see how the Pardoner and Summoner did their thing.

JT said...

How long before these voluntary carbon offset payments become mandatory? It's only a matter of time before some tree hugging liberal socialist bureaucrat gets the bright idea to make it so everyone flying anywhere MUST pay for harming the environment by adding on a carbon footprint tax to every airline ticket purchased.

Anyone care to wager on the over/under? I say less than 5 years before this is attempted if the Dems win the Whitehouse this time around.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

When you buy something at a place like PetCo or PetSmart they frequently ask you to donate to some rescue organization.

I used to go to the gym. I don't recall them ever asking me to give money to Jerry's Kids.

I'm kind of wondering what the donation racket is at those legal brothels in Las Vegas.

virgil xenophon said...

Besides the "sins" against Mother Gaia, no one ever seems to mention cost, e.g., flying from LA to SF is so incredibly cheaper (and faster) than any other means that it's not even close. NO public transportation system in America supports itself as it is, let alone can claim to be more convenient save in a few select areas like the NE corridor, etc. Heavy subsidy via theft of taxpayer money is the norm EVERYWHERE. Wanna get down into the nitty gritty of public transport and all things "Urban Planning? Visit the site of "The Anti-Planner" for an eye-opener on costs, alternatives, etc.

Owen said...

JT: "...How long before these voluntary carbon offset payments become mandatory?…"

In Europe there is already a surcharge on tickets, with the funds earmarked to pay for "neglected diseases" in Africa. I think the money is funneled to the WHO, which as we saw was right on top of things with Ebola and Zika.

Dan Hossley said...

Carbon Offsets? Isn't that the racket Al Gore profits by?

PB said...

Unless your final destination is more than 200 miles away, it's easier/better to drive. 1.5 hours before flight, 1 hour on the plane (boarding, taxiing, flying, etc) and at least an hour at the other end adds up to 3.5 to 4 hours. I usually view 250-300 miles as the cutoff.

Cath said...

Hey, whatever happened to that hole in the ozone layer? Maybe closing it was what made it so hot and stuffy here under the stratosphere. Bring back the fluorocarbons!

TosaGuy said...

I have a plan to plant about 5000 trees on my property. I have some marginal farmland that would do better as a mix of native trees and grassland. If you buy these trees for me, I will give you a nice certificate about how your carbon sins have been forgiven.

James Graham said...

The carbon cost of the New York Times:

Trees destroyed to produce paper.

Fuel needed to transport logs to paper mill.

Fuel to transport paper to printer.

Fuel to transport printed papers to retailers.

(We live in the Golden Age of Hypocrisy.)

Michael K said...

This item inspired to book my flight to Chicago in June.

Thanks.

Paddy O said...

Enterprise rent-a-car also has a "Greenhouse Gas Emissions Offset" for $1.25 added to the rental cost.

Bruce Hayden said...

Or you could just ask a lefty pol or Hollywood type to forego a Gulfstream jaunt.

Fraternity brother is a pilot, and is/was being flown back to the US in an air ambulance (after spending the last month or to being abused by the NHS in the UK). Wife had to tell him that it wasn't going to be in a G550 that he usually flies. Sweat plane. Cruises at Mach .885 (562 mph) at over 50k feet, with a range of 7,768 miles. And, they dropped to a bit over $40 million in the crash, though apparently edging back up over $50 million in recent years. And, yes, there is a G650, which is even a slight bit faster (can do over 600 mph), with even more range (over 8k miles), and costs another $10 million.

I don't think that you can take anyone seriously who flies in this sort of plane anywhere, regardless of who owns the plane (govt. or private) if they are pushing Anthropogenic Global Warming, Cooling, Climate Change, etc. They are elitist tools.

tim maguire said...

Environmentalism is not about saving the environment. It;s about enabling affluent liberals to maintain their environmentally destructive lifestyles without all that inconvenient guilt.

Want to live green? It's easy. Don't buy what you don't need. Don't throw away what is still good. Don't live in a house that is larger than you need. Don't fly when you can drive, don't drive when you can walk or bicycle.

It's easy, it's just not sexy. Which is why affluent white lieberals aren't interested.

Curious George said...

Wait, you can't just sign some online petition and share it on your Facebook page? Damn, all of my lefty "friends" are going to disappointed...

Bruce Hayden said...

You never know where this nonsense is going to pop up. A couple years ago, I notice that Vail Resorts (which now owns a number of notable ski areas outside its base here in CO) was advertising that it was carbon neutral through the purchase of offsets. I think though that what they were doing was indirectly buying wind and solar power, and then trading that for the power that they use to run their ski areas. At least that is somewhat more plausible than the idea of planting trees in some 3rd world country (and, then not budgeting or acquiring water, etc.) Personally, I would have preferred lower season ticket prices. But, a good portion of VR's very wealthy clientele probably loves the idea.

campy said...

"Wait, you can't just sign some online petition and share it on your Facebook page? Damn, all of my lefty "friends" are going to disappointed..."

A frowning selfie and a hashtag will fix everything.

rhhardin said...

My short-hop airplanes got 23 miles to the gallon, not counting wind.

TreeJoe said...

Walking past the empire state building recently I was accosted by a young lady asking me to donate for nature.org local initiatives including:

- Tree planting
- Seeding oysters in the bay

The point I tried to impress upon her was: So I'm going to pay for trees to pull carbon out of the air and ground, die, and give that carbon back up to the atmosphere and they rot away? I'm going to pay for oysters to sequester crap out of the bottom of the ocean and then give it back up when they die so that it returns to the same place?

Why?

How about instead I invest in improved battery technologies, more efficient designs, things that will actually produce a lasting reduction in energy use and emission creations for humankind to perform ongoing activities?

I hope I got through to her; I really do.

Bruce Hayden said...

Want to live green? It's easy. Don't buy what you don't need. Don't throw away what is still good. Don't live in a house that is larger than you need. Don't fly when you can drive, don't drive when you can walk or bicycle.

I absolutely refuse to live in a "house" no bigger than a shipping container (and maybe made from one). I just think of AlGore's mansions (where he lives (or at least lived) alone) whenever I see this sort of stuff. And, over long distances, or even probably much shorter ones, it takes less fuel to fly than to drive for one or two. My kid (who lives in Boulder, and is working on an environmental STEM graduate degree there) and their SO are commuting back and forth mostly by air. They are young enough that the difference in carbon footprint would matter to them. We aren't talking Gulfstreams here, but rather, high efficiency modern commercial jets. The kid does bike to school (too far to walk) unless there is a lot of snow on the ground - even after dark, which is an issue for their father...

Richard Dolan said...

"Just pay for the absolution of your sins. Someone is available to receive your payments."

The eco freak-out has some elements in common with religion, but not the type of religion depicted by Cranach. More Gaia worshipping Druids than papal courtiers, don't you think?

traditionalguy said...

Talk about tyranny of Assumptions.

Anyone still pretending CO2 causes a warming of the climate is so ridiculous that not knowing it is false labels you brain dead.

mockturtle said...

We need another Martin Luther.

tim maguire said...

Bruce, your tone suggests you think you are refuting my post. But I don't see a refutation there. I mostly see responses to statements I didn't make.

virgil xenophon said...

@PB/

Agree..

Owen said...

Tosa Guy: "...If you buy these trees for me, I will give you a nice certificate about how your carbon sins have been forgiven."

This can work. But you should up the marketing appeal by having the certificate hand-lettered by Stardust Sundancer, the calligrapher and crystal-healer who lives in a hut among the trees.

Jim said...

The practical cost of all this BS?? Asthma inhalers used to cost about 10 to 15 each, and they worked great. The leftists decided that CFCs were 'bad' for me. The 'new' inhalers cost 60 to 70 each. They don't work as well as the old ones.
So, typical Dem thinking. lets feel good, accomplish nothing. raise the cost and lower the quality. Great. Vote Dem for more of this crap

Curious George said...

"Bruce Hayden said...
I think though that what they were doing was indirectly buying wind and solar power, and then trading that for the power that they use to run their ski areas. At least that is somewhat more plausible than the idea of planting trees in some 3rd world country (and, then not budgeting or acquiring water, etc.)"

Not really. Wind and solar power need to replicated by power provided by coal, NG, and nuclear because the sun isn't always out and the wind doesn't always blow. Plus there is not a one to one relationship between electrical use and electrical generation.

Big Mike said...

Just pay for the absolution of your sins. Someone is available to receive your payments.

Where's Martin Luther when we need him the most?

Yancey Ward said...

I think PT Barnum was the smartest man who ever lived.

Larry J said...

Actually, modern airliners are remarkably fuel efficient and are getting better. I read several years ago where a 737-900 full of passengers can fly coast-to-coast across the US and only burn 40 gallons of jet fuel per passenger. You can't drive a Prius across the US on 40 gallons of fuel. More modern planes like the 787 and the newer versions of the 737 under development are even more fuel efficient than the 737-900. Since most of the fuel is consumed during takeoff and climb, longer flights are more efficient than short hops.

buwaya said...

"How long before these voluntary carbon offset payments become mandatory? "

In CA, they already are, through the price of energy/utilities.
This is Ayn Rands vision coming to pass, communism justified purely through faith.

n.n said...

Carbon offsets = reactive parenthood

Carbon sequestration = planned parenthood

Green energy = obfuscated and shifted environmental disruption

Prophecies of global warming = catastrophic anthropogenic government whoring

Another pro-choice orthodoxy.

Earnest Prole said...

fabulously indulgent

Bruce Hayden said...

Not really. Wind and solar power need to replicated by power provided by coal, NG, and nuclear because the sun isn't always out and the wind doesn't always blow. Plus there is not a one to one relationship between electrical use and electrical generation.

Don't look at me - I thought that the idea was silly. It is marketing, pure and simple, aimed at a wealthy demographic who appreciate the virtue signaling there, esp. given the amount of resources they expend flying into Vail Resort's mega resorts.

Big Mike said...

I think folks who work for the EDF need to be required to wear some very distinctive headgear so that we can confront them whenever we chance upon them in an airport terminal. Right now they can get away with trying to guilt-shame the gullible while -- almost certainly! -- flying the short hop from Washington, DC, to New York when it suits their purposes (the Acela is more efficient in both time and energy).

holdfast said...

It must be that only Conservatives actually study history these days. When I first heard about "carbon credits" or "carbon offsets" my brain just screamed "papa indulgences!". Based on this thread, I am clearly not the only one. Based on the last 20 years of history, it seems that there is nobody on the [usually anti-Catholic/ant-Christian/anti-God] Left who gets the striking irony, or even the historical reference. It's like watching millions of otherwise intelligent[ish] people all participate in some ridiculous mass-delusion, and being the only guy in the room who sees it. Like yelling in a crowd full of people who can't hear you.

Peter said...

According to the (sometimes reliable) Wikipedia, turboprop airliners are good for 62-87 seat-miles per gallon on a 345 mile flight.

That seems quite respectable as compared with motorized alternatives. Even if one doesn't buy an indulgence from the Church of Climate Change.

Peter said...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_efficiency_in_transportation

YoungHegelian said...

@holdfast,

It must be that only Conservatives actually study history these days.

Actually, yes, that's true, if history is understood as something other than reading the past to see how its component pieces can be made to serve the Revolution.

When I first heard about "carbon credits" or "carbon offsets" my brain just screamed "papa indulgences!".

And here I thought a "papa indulgence" (sic) was when momma gave him that special humjob on his birthday! I know, I know, damn autocorrect!

The Gold Digger said...

donate for nature.org local initiatives including - Tree planting

Or she could just buy paper and paper products. The paper company I used to work for planted five trees for every tree they harvested. Paper companies actually have to have thriving forests/tree plantations to stay in business.

Unknown said...

Seeing the adjective "sustainable" applied in this way, even after all this time, still makes my teeth itch.

An unsustainable flight has a crash site.

Roy Jacobsen said...

"If you fly on a Gulfstream IV with Leonardo Di Caprio and George Clooney, my understanding is that there is no environmental problem whatsoever."

Especially if you fly it into a convenient mountainside.

I denounce myself.

Michael said...

Progressive politics are about power and money for the Progressive elite. They have never been about the climate, or poor people, or better health, or education except in so far as these things are convenient pretexts.

Lyle Smith said...

Huh, I thought time was of the essence to Greens.

Bruce Hayden said...

Especially if you fly it into a convenient mountainside.

Not sure if I buy that. The plane has to be replaced, which means all the carbon and energy required to do so, which is often quite high, esp. given the materials in modern planes. Aluminum, for example, requires huge amounts of energy to refine. And, at least in CO, hitting a mountainside typically means that you are at a decently high elevation, which means that it crashed into a fragile alpine environment, which may take years to recover. Still, it may be better than being used by environmental wackos to fly around the world to attend climate conferences.

Still, this reminds me of our next door neighbor growing up. He started his flying career (after the war) flying for Aspen Airways, and would regale us with stories about people flying out of the Aspen airport, down valley (to the NW), then with insufficient altitude (since you can't see the mountain tops from the valley), turning left towards LA. Back then, you mostly couldn't power it out, and often would pancake their planes with the controls pulled back as far as they could in a (literal here) death grip. He was apparently routinely involved in the search end of finding them. Great subject matter for Boy Scout camping trips. He was considered one of the coolest dads for this.

MadisonMan said...

I flew more than 8000 miles last week (4200 miles to/from), and each flight was absolutely packed -- no empty seats at all. (Delta must be making money hand over fist these days).

It's a very efficient (albeit uncomfortable) way to move people.

If you want to argue that people shouldn't move, have at it. No one will listen to you.

virgil xenophon said...

@Michael/

"Progressive politics are about power and money..." AND THE AVOWED DESTRUCTION OF CAPITALISM. Which is really funny because all the watermelons think they will be in the crows nest drinking champagne while everyone else drowns as the capitalist ship founders. It never seems to occur to them that the crows nest will go under eventually as well and even they themselves will end up living like the denizens of a shit-hole third-world place like Yemen or even modern-day Venezuela.

Fabi said...

Larry J -- A fully loaded jet such as the 737-900ER gets about 90 miles per gallon, amortized per capita. Incredibly efficient.

JaimeRoberto said...

Many years ago I thought about creating a website called www.carbonindulgences.com where people could pay me $25/day to not eat a burrito (methane being a worse greenhouse gas than CO2) or $5/day to have me sleep an extra hour (we exhale less CO2 when asleep) thereby absolving themselves of their carbon sins. Alas the domain name was and still is taken, so my idea went nowhere.

jacksonjay said...

Bozo and Dilbert said that mockery defeats insanity every time. I was skeptical. Now I get it. It is very effective when the betters mock the rubes, not so much the other way around.

I'm told that The Book of Mormon was hilarious.

Michael said...

I use these carbon offsets for myself and friends. You are welcome to as many millions as you wish:
http://freecarbonoffsets.com/home.do;jsessionid=695D08B005E28CA5AEDF93A9B7BC3426

Birkel said...

Modern humans in the developed world have the cleanest environments ever available, throughout history.

Now define the word environment.

mikee said...

Catholics abandoned the concept of atonement about the time of the Protestant Reformation, along with paying for indulgences. Penance and absolution (different from atonement), which along with that most delightful Catholic phrase wherein one promises "to avoid the near occasions of sin" results in a return to a state of grace.

That filthy swine Luther and his heirs went big on atonement in their schismatic way, resulting in my (protestant) wife's frequent mentions of the money I lost in stocks in 2008 and haven't made back yet.

kentuckyliz said...

At least the indulgences built something. St Peter's.

Paul Snively said...

It's pretty interesting, being Lutheran and seeing the various ways Catholic/Protestant theological disputes have just shifted to American politics.

n.n said...

Green lobbyists prefer carbon-based population control and mass disruption of local and alien environments in order to secure their environment and maintain [local] green lawns, respectively.

aritai said...

Reminds of Australia where they could feed most of Asia with their cattle grown in nearly desert except the greens only give carbon credit for trees and not for actual sequestration form any means. Especially since you species dependent on pancreas to convert sugar to saturated fats that is the sole source of energy for your bodies seem committed to starve yourself and endure nothing but suffering from diabetes and cancer in your old age because you've given up eating only saturated fats, the best source being grain fattened cattle, who were designed just for this purpose. Oh me. Meaning All the Australian ranchers get no credit at all for a continent worth of scrub weeds. A far greater carbon soak the the U.S. trees. Amusing since there's no way under a microscope to tell the difference between a biopsy of celery or a tree. Oh well, once politics meets science, it's only politics, someday you'll learn about the good and the bad of carbon. For a carbon based biosphere it's truly strange and yet amusing to watch you worship dirt as if it's god. Even when one of your important books say "you shall have no god before me (else you'll be eternally damned) Looks like you're damned from out here. Though the Chinese may save you, at least their dictatorship of Russian educated engineers can still do sums. Good fun. The last act of your tragedy should be great fun. Hope the deserved great credit add recognition go to the author. Iat's certainly the most loved soap opera equivalent we have out here on the Crater.

Nichevo said...

Aritai, you seem a reasonable chap, but we already have a couple of logorrheic eccentrics here. I ask you two things: 1, please use paragraphs and 2, where are you from?

SJ said...

@MadisonMan

I'm not sure if a packed plane means "Delta is making money hand over fist" or not.

Maybe Delta doesn't run as many partially-empty flights as they used to.

But you'd want to talk to their accounting department before you figure out if that's a net loss, a net gain, or the ability to sell tickets for slightly less, knowing that they'll likely fly with very few empty seats.

Paul said...

If the leftys really were SERIOUS about global warming they would Skype or teleconference or just plain stay at home(s), yes home(s) as many of the rich ones have more than one.

But we know the 'carbon footprint offsets' is just a scam. They don't care cause they know it's a sham.

Rusty said...

Virgil @ 1:47

Jokes on them capitalism is inevitable.

damikesc said...

And they get pissy when you call global warming a faith. They even have their own plenary indulgences.

This is my problem with the entire carbon offset concept: There's never a question whether this actually does anything substantially good for the environment. There's never a question whether this money may just end up in the pockets of grifters, (whether they're government or private). It's just an indulgence for the church of climate change, allowing you to commit climate sins and still get into enviro-heaven.

Rush once asked a good question about it:

Let's say your carbon offset paid for a tree to be planted. If the tree is cut down, burnt down, or otherwise destroyed...do you lose the offset from way back when? If not, why not?

Greens should be championing teleconferencing. But they don't. And they won't. Which is why I can't it seriously. Because THEY don't take it seriously.

If a non-Catholic religious authority constantly had affairs and the church did nothing about it, who'd take seriously their comments about the sanctity of marriage?

furious_a said...

They can then donate their money or miles to a carbon reduction project such as forest conservation or renewable energy.

Or you can just plant a tree in your yard, which both locks in carbon *and* starves the Offset Indulgence Racket. Win-win.

furious_a said...

It never seems to occur to them that the crows nest will go under eventually as well and even they themselves will end up living like the denizens of a shit-hole third-world place.

Or if there truly is a God they could, you know, end up swinging from lampposts or accepting a blindfold and a cigarette.