Purchase Carbon Offsets at the Airport

September 21, 2009 by Miranda Marquit, Phys.org weblog
Image source: CleanTechnica

(PhysOrg.com) -- One of the activities that puts a great deal of carbon dioxide into the environment is air travel. Air travel is one of the ways that individuals contribute to an increase in pollution and to global climate change. Some believe that purchasing carbon offsets can help decrease their impact on the planet by contributing money to projects that reduce carbon dioxide, thereby offseting their own activities. In an effort to make this process easier for those traveling by airplane, the San Francisco airport now has kiosks at which travelers can buy offsets before they board.

The program is being sponsored by the City of San Francisco. San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom writes on CleanTechnica.com about this program:

A portion of the offset sales will also go to the San Francisco Carbon Fund, helping to develop local San Francisco carbon reduction projects. The first project supported by the fund is Dogpatch Biofuels, San Francisco's only publicly-owned biodiesel filling station. It is estimated the Dogpatch project will reduce as much as 660,000 pounds of CO2 in its first year of operation. Offsets will also help to pay for the planting of urban trees in San Francisco.

Newsom writes that the offsets are sourced right now from the Garcia River Forest, a forest management project based on conservation. The offsets are also third-party verified using the Climate Action Reserve's protocol. This process ensures that the offsets are coming from a project that is reducing .

It's an fascinating concept, providing easy access to carbon offsets for those who are concerned about pollution and global . It will be interesting to follow the development of this program, and to see whether or not this effort works in San Francisco. If it does, it could be that similar programs could be introduced by other U.S. cities.

© 2009 PhysOrg.com

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4.2 / 5 (5) Sep 21, 2009
It is estimated the Dogpatch project will reduce as much as 660,000 pounds of CO2 in its first year of operation.

Here's a little injection of reality. That 660,000 lbs is 330 tons of carbon. This is about the amount of carbon emitted by a single standard (1 Unit) power plant in maybe a day, or by a large wildfire fire in an hour.

Moral of the story: these carbon offsetting programs accomplish absolutely nothing that means anything. They are just people taking money from people, because people want to feel "Green" and don't know how else to do it. It has the effect of a drop in a bucket.

The money would be way better spent putting towards sustainable power research that you know is going to be worth something.
1 / 5 (4) Sep 21, 2009
WAAAAAaaaaa --- give me a break defunctdiety --

if people want to contribute let them... there conscience moves them to basically donate so let them... I bet you get upset at the Bureau of the Public Debt accepting donations to reduce the national debt , they got 3 million last year -- a drop in the bucket and they would probably be better off lobbying a congresman to balance the national budget but hey every penny -- and every Carbon atom count in the long run.
5 / 5 (5) Sep 21, 2009
It just perpetuates the myth that attempts at climate control are a good way to address the actual problems facing our world society. It does far more harm in this capacity than good. Far more. Because as long as people believe this crap is all that matters, that's all that will be done and the actual problems underlying it will persist.
Sep 21, 2009
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