By July 30, 2013 Read More →

Do Carbon Offsets Do More Damage Than Good?

carbon-offsetsAny transportation (land, water or air) and energy we use daily including burning, cooling, and the manufacturer industries produce carbon dioxide that add predicament in saving our planet from the so-called greenhouse effects. We all know that we are now in global crises because of too much carbon dioxide released everyday that results into global warming and climate change.

These carbon offsets feature to neutralize the carbon dioxides released each day. Yet, this is not the assurance that planet Earth will be saved from global warming. For as we all know, our ozone layer is now having a hole that cannot be cured. It is never been the assurance that the schemes of these carbon off settings can consummate the carbon dioxides away. Wouter Buytaert (an environmentalist at Imperial College in London, United Kindom) states, “The science behind some of these schemes is still not clear”. His statement stands as a reminder that it is not the carbon offsets will set the Earth carbon-free but rather it will just help in some aspects. We, individuals, must also have green conscience to prevent the global warming. The more we will just depend to this offset and will not lessen our usage in carbon dioxides, the more we harm our Earth. Furthermore, carbon offsetting is not the end-solution to the greenhouse effects. What the carbon offsetting now will do is just to lessen and neutralize the carbon dioxides we produced each day. It is just an alternation to prolong the life of our planet.

What are the methods of carbon off settings?

Reforestation or Planting more trees – It is the simplest and straightforward ways or methods in absorbing the carbon dioxides away from the atmospheres. We all know that plants and trees need carbon dioxide for their survival and they are the ones who take in the carbon dioxides through the parts of their body. In this fact, we can merely conclude that planting trees is the most effective way of making the earth carbon-free.

Only to remind you that trees are also considered as one that act as a “carbon sink”. “Carbon sink” means that this type of tools or materials absorbs carbon gases that can also stand as the storage of the said gas. Somehow, it will not eternally hold the carbons; carbon being locked up will release back to the atmosphere. Through planting trees, it can absolutely help us, if and only if the forest will be untouched. By this time, we could no longer stop people by cutting trees, for as we all know trees are the useful materials in making our shield, furniture and some other products that made from trees.

Since the helping way of planting trees is not to cut them, what will happen if people will cut them? Obviously, trees will immediately released the carbon dioxides they taken in and will definitely harm the planet. Remember, trees act as “carbon sink”; the more trees being cut, the more releasing of carbon dioxides will happen.

Renewable Energy Investment – Renewable energy is an energy that comes from the sources of sunlight, wind, rain, water, geothermal heat, tides and waves. Nowadays, businesses are encouraged to have this renewable energy. Many now are using hydrothermal process for producing electricity. Within these kinds of investment, it helps to lessen the releasing of carbon gases. For instance, solar energy or some energy that unused biomass is brought into use, nowadays.

Energy Efficiency Promotions – This merely happens in some countries that energy efficiency schemes are being sponsored. The sponsor promotes the less use of carbon dioxide through providing people technologies that produces less carbon. For instance, you are fun of cooking. Since you are now provided by high technologies, you don’t need to burn coals or woods just to cook some dishes. With the use of gas stoves (which released less carbon being used than burning woods), you are just producing less impact of damaging the earth. In fact, burning woods can cause smoky effects that certainly damaged millions of people because of the gases being emitted. Furthermore, using light-bulb during night time is also much lesser used of carbon than burning some fossil fuels just to create lightness to your dim home. Within this, you are not giving huge impact in destroying the atmosphere. Somehow, you still damage the atmosphere but just in a slowly mode.

Carbon Offsets Are Expensive Items

As you have read the methods of carbon off settings, only the reforestation is inexpensive to do so. Renewable energy investment requires big money to imply it to every developing country. Roger Pielke, Jr. (science policy expert from University of Colorado, Boulder) said that the only form of offset that he think would make sense is if someone will pay to have a certain amount of carbon dioxide directly removed from the air and permanently isolated. “Of course at costs of up to $500 a ton [for carbon air capture], I think we’d see that even as indulgences, offsetting has its limits,” he added.

Promoting energy efficiency also is in need and has huge cost. Global warming is not only what the people suffering, nowadays. We must also consider that economic crisis boosts around the world. In this case, not all people can afford some technologies that lessen the production of carbons. Furthermore, there is lot of peoples that used traditional way of living in which it has great impacts of damaging the atmosphere. Somehow, we could no longer force them, aside from sponsoring them these kinds of technologies. And within this matter, it is absolutely luxurious in sponsoring those peoples.

Do Carbon Offsets Do More Damaged than Good?

Carbon offsets, somehow, help to lessen the carbon dioxides to the atmosphere. It is the alternation of prolonging the life of our planet. It is the better option and repays in every carbon dioxide we emitted. But remember, it is just an option. It does not assuage the carbons that spread into the atmosphere. We should not be negligent in burning coals, fossil fuels and especially plastics.

Some carbon offsets schemes, such as reforestation, are “carbon sink”. We, sometimes, have misconception that since we had done this reforestation, we are now free of emitting carbon. Yes, we have this offset but come to think of it; it is not actually the best solution that sequestered carbon from the atmosphere. Some offsets are just tools that locked up carbon gases and will back to the atmosphere soon.

Carbon offsets caused more damaged especially in reforestation. Have you observed a balloon that whenever you fill too much air on it, it will definitely burst. Try to picture out that a balloon stands as a tree; then, the air stands as carbon dioxides we emit. As the tree is growing up, inevitably, people will cut it for some purposes. As the tree is being cut, the carbon dioxides the tree takes in will surely disperse into the atmosphere. A huge mass of carbon dioxides will now have great impact to destroy the ozone layer.

Carbon offsets are just one of the temporary patches in dispersing carbon gases through the atmosphere. We could not merely depend on it. As long as we are not awake with our green conscience, we will still do things that destroy our ozone layer. Remember that people deeds count the most in making the world polluted.

About the Author:

A senior writer and editor of The Green Guide and a father of 3 kids (1 girl and 2 boys). Rob's special interests include geography, enviroment study and hiking. Rob has traveled to over 100 places in 30 different countries in the past three years. His exotic and fun experiences will be talked in his new book which is going to be published soon.

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