Carbon Credits

Am I the only one scratching my head over carbon credits? The whole idea of having environmentally “good” activity negate environmentally “bad” activity seems strange. Why not just focus on reducing or stopping environmentally harmful action?Carbon Credits

What if there were “water credits?” If someone dumps 100 gallons of polluted water into a river, would it be okay if they purify 100 gallons of water somewhere else? I don’t think so. Or if they reclaim 200 gallons of water, can they “sell” a 100-gallon credit to a polluter who can then with a clear conscience dump 100 gallons of tainted water into a nearby lake? Again, no!Why not just focus on reducing or stopping environmentally harmful action? Click To Tweet

Of course that scenario would make perfect sense to someone who ran a waste water treatment plant. They could sell “water credits” to industrial polluters and get rich, the same way that sellers of carbon credits are lining their pockets. Isn’t that tainted money?

To me, carbon credits is sort of like saying that it’s all right to speed as long as someone else is driving slow; one person’s speeding is counteracted by another person’s willingness to dawdle, therefore their combined average velocity is lawful. The next time you’re stopped for being in too much of a hurry, try that argument with the police officer and see how far you get.

In the meantime, just drive the speed limit and be kind to our environment—it’s the only one we have!

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.

What do you think? Please leave a comment!