Economist gets practical on carbon neutrality



This week the Economist is publishing a special report on climate change called The Heat is On.  My favourite publication usually sticks to fairly high level recommendations, so I wanted to single out a very practical piece of advice, to be found in the footnote on the first page of the supplement:

This survey, which generated about 118 tonnes of carbon dioxide from flights, car journeys, paper production, printing and distribution, has been carbon neutralised through the Carbon Neutral Company.  The cost was £590; the money was spent on capturing methane from an American mine.

Carbon neutralising your activities is the obvious immediate action you can take to alleviate your impact in the carbon crisis, at both the business and personal level.  My next few posts will concentrate on the practical actions you can take to achieve that, so I thought this Economict initiative was very welcome.

The illustration below  relates to the collapse of the Larsen B ice-shelf edge, one of the most dramatic illustrations of climate change yet as a shelf the size of a small state collapsed in a few months, leading to a 6X rate of increase in the glaciers that it protected.

Digressing a bit, I am going to speculate that the Economist used a very special advisor named Al Gore.  Why ?  Because he was not mentioned once in the entire survey…  I have a feeling Mr Gore (who has always claimed, credibly in my book, that his devotion to the cause had nothing to do with him or with politics) may have advised the publication and made a point of staying behind the curtain.  That feeling is reinforced by the extensive exposure devoted to Arnie "I’ll be Back" Schwarzenegger, who had the balls to go against his party (or lead its transformation) by imposing tough emission reduction targets in California.  Hell, I will ping Mr Editor to find out more.  [Disclosure: Mr Gore is Chairman of Generation where my wife works, but no inside info from her].  Tags: , , ,

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One Response to Economist gets practical on carbon neutrality

  1. azeem says:

    I too enjoyed the carbon neutralisation. Of course, Emma only carbon neutralised her reseach not the costs of editing, printing and distributing the story both electronically and on paper.

    Consumers can also carbon neutralise via the World Land Trust. (see http://www.springwise.com/eco_sustainability/carbon_offsets_by_sms/ )

    The GBP:Ckg (kilograms of carbon) is an order of magnitude higher than the Carbon Neutral Company.

    The Carbon Neutral company does have a great look-up service where you can plug in your petroholic sins and find the cost for eco-solution. A ‘kitemark’ service across all products to not just carbon neutralise but to net off the entire environmental footprint would be very powerful…