The moral shortcut of carbon offsets generates real world harms for the indigenous Amazon tribes and rainforests which such schemes pretend to protect.
Blake Lovewell 21st Century Wire
I was recently lucky enough to be able to book a ferry from the UK to France. After years of stifling regulation on free movement, in August of 2022, one could finally travel across the English Channel without nasal swabs, without saliva tests; and without presenting government sanctioned barcodes. It only took us 3 years to get over the coronavirus paranoia and back to a calmer state of affairs. For that we should be thankful.
Now on the booking page for the ferry something caught my eye. It was an optional tickbox at the bottom of the form. It said: “Would you like to pay £2.50 to offset the carbon footprint for your journey?”. This piqued my interest and so I dug deeper. For starters, I followed the link provided to carbonfootprint.com. It explains the basics of a carbon footprint and the dogma of the greenhouse effect in excessively simple terms. In fact there are a number of typographical errors in their website. Here you can learn that: “Climate Change (also known as Global Warming) [has caused temperature rise] … with increasingly levels of human activity.” [sic]. It reminds me of projects in school where someone would copy and paste sections of text from a website and hand it in as their own work. Thus, I deemed this website no great authority on the subject.
However, this company registered an income of over £7 million in 2022 so far. This money comes from their carbon calculator service – which pretty much converts ‘miles travelled’ to ‘tons of CO2’ and then offers a byway into a carbon offset marketplace. In fact Carbon markets have expanded to over £250 billion in the last year, and the World Economic Forum points to it as the main means of fighting climate change1. This burgeoning carbon offset market is also being underpinned by the drive to force businesses into the new globalist corporate compliance scheme known as Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), which is supposed to represent an organisation’s corporate financial interests which are meant to focus on “sustainable and ethical impacts.” All in all, it looks like a great business to be in right now – people will throw money at you to assuage their guilt over the nefarious carbon they emit just by existing. The ferry company simply offers a tickbox, funnelling money over to a middleman to purchase carbon offsets, also known as carbon credits, on your behalf.
So let’s dig deeper, into those services on offer…