Intent versus Action

I admire the sentiment, and I even respect the effort… but seriously, who are they kidding?

The parts that I like about it is that people should do more to conserve. I recycle, I replaced as many lights in my house as possible (and tolerable) with low energy bulbs… I try, and I’d like to think I succeed, even if just a little. My ongoing battle with junk mail isn’t just about trying to stop getting junk, but also doing my part to reduce how much of that wasteful crap they print. At least with junk email, there is no real waste, except the couple seconds a week I spend reviewing the junk folder before deleting it. And any effort to raise awareness has its merit.

The line that really gets me, though, is this one:

Organizers say the concerts will be as green as possible, with a tally of energy use being kept and proceeds from ticket sales going to distribute power-efficient light bulbs and other measures that will offset the shows’ greenhouse gas emissions.

This is what I mean by “Who are they kidding?” Directly from their quote, they will be distributing power-efficient light bulbs as part of their emissions offset. That’s a laugh, because 90% of the bulbs they give out at the concerts will be left on the ground or tossed into the trash (ironically, creating more waste than if they’d just not handed them out at all), and of the 10% that make it home with a concert goer I’d guess that maybe 10% of those will actually get used. So we are looking at 1 in 100 bulbs given out being put to use. That’s 99 bulbs in the trash or sitting unused in a garage or closet.

That’s almost as bad as the idea of buying emissions credits. “Well, we’d really like to help the environment, but rather than change our product or production, we’ll just write a check each year to pay for the offset.” Umm… what? The only possible way this works is if the money used to purchase credit is spent preventing or removing the exact amount of or more pollution the credit is buying. Otherwise, you just end up with the same pollutions and a bunch of money sitting in someone’s bank. I feel like I should have heard about buying emissions credits on Snopes where they would promptly debunk it as yet another email chain letter like that Nigerian gentleman who wants to give me millions of dollars.

It all just doesn’t make any logical sense…

One comment

  1. Neil says:

    Don’t celebrities have to do something like a Live Earth concert every few years so they don’t feel too bad about the millions they make?

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