Carbon offsets; and flying, again still

Video link sent to me by a friend – John Oliver on carbon offsets. John Oliver is always great; I enjoy his bitingly humorous delivery of good information on serious topics. Bookmarking to watch.

In the meantime: Re carbon offsets on a personal level, I have always said that carbon offsets are not a perfect fix, even if a person makes sure to choose the reputable ones that actually involve planting new trees rather than counting existing ones etc.

Cutting down radically on travel is the real fix but not everyone is willing to do that. It would help if national leaders would set an example. G7 meetings by Zoom only, etc.

Same for eating more vegetarian or vegan; reducing meat intake.

Rich-people habits (which have also become widespread in the more-comfortably-off stratum of the middle class) are killing the planet. And let’s be clear, in case the previous sentence isn’t. I’m not talking just “rich people” as in far-off, lofty, Bezos-level. I’m talking a little closer to home, and much larger in number.

Yes, dear readers, I’m talking about you and me: the relatively-comfortably-off stratum of the middle class. From our jet-setty flying addiction, to the pornographically huge and gleaming McMansions we see as normal houses, to retirement plans that involve colonizing and gentrifying entire countries, our demographic as a whole has adopted robber-baron lifestyle habits, and our demographic is very large.

Regarding flying. I have flown once since 2010 – for my Mom’s funeral in 2018 – and have signed a no-fly pledge. Many of us climate activists all over the world have. Check out Flight Free UK, Flight Free USA.

And, I do purchase carbon offsets for my annual long train trip to see family etc.

PS i know some of you fly a lot and are probably not interested in cutting back. I hope you will at least consider carbon offsets. Though carbon offsets are not perfect, they are a step. An expert I trust on green matters is Rob Greenfield. It was through his talks/writings that I first learned about Gold Standard carbon offsets. Those are the ones I use. BTW if I understand correctly from what I read a few years back, Rob TRIPLE-offsets his travel by purchasing triple the amount of carbon offsets.

Another thing you can do is purchase carbon offsets to retroactively offset your past flights & other travel. I did that. I bought carbon offsets for every flight I could remember taking in my adult life, and added some extra padding for good measure. It wasn’t much money. Carbon offsets only add a few bucks to the cost of a flight. If you can afford to fly, you can afford to purchase carbon offsets.

You can also do your own DIY carbon offsetting by cutting back in other categories of your consumption to balance out your high-consumption areas. I do that too. And have offered many tips in my book and this blog, and other platforms. I also continue to offer the personal one-on-one “Deep Green Tech Support” session. (Note: I include emotional support and moral support. Doesn’t tech support always include a bit of emotional support, if you think about it?)

PS. Carbon footprint isn’t everything but it’s a pretty good indicator of overall consumption footprint so I’m OK with using it as a benchmark.