Thursday, December 10, 2009

Straight Outta Suburbia: Live From New York City!

Well folks, I'm going to New York. For the next week and a half I'll be bringing you my take on the Big Apple. I've been practicing my New York accent, which I've been told by people who live there doesn't really exist :)

Maybe you're thinking, a-ha! You've been preaching about the environment and how you live virtually without a car and now you're hopping on a plane, making yourself quite sanctimonious (hypocritically pious). You would be right, flying does belch out an enormous quantity of greenhouse gases, except . . .

I bought a carbon offset for the round trip ($38)! Offsets work by paying someone to reduce carbon emissions you find it hard to reduce yourself. A good offset will be verified by a third party to ensure that it is real and that your money contributes to something new, not something that would have happened anyway (additionality).

I bought an offset from 3Degrees which uses the money to capture methane (a greenhouse gas) from hogs in Brazil. I found out about the company through the Natural Resources Defense Council which endorses Green-e 3rd party certification, which endorses 3Degrees (which also operates at the San Francisco Airport).

Look, I know these things are controversial. They're new and lots of people are skeptical about them, for good reason. Environmentalists are worried that they'll keep people from putting out effort to reduce their own emissions. I take these concerns seriously, but sometimes, there's a very good reason to mess up the climate (I'll keep mine to myself) and when you do, you should buy a verified carbon offset.

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