Carbon tradeoff QUESTION

There’s been a lot of debate about this plan to allow industrial nations to “sell” their carbon emission quotas under international agreements to developing countries. The upside to the developing countries is that they get money, and the upside to the developed countries is that they recognize the real cost of polluting. Similar plans are available to individuals as well.

I don’t know. Somehow, it feels like selling indulgences, which did (or did not) happen in the Catholic Church. In fact, that’s exactly what this article suggests.

In this country, you may remember when gas was first $3 per gallon, after Hurricane Katrina, and there was a great hue and cry. I do recall, though, that some people decided to change their lifestyles and start walking or taking the bike or public transportation. Then the prices went down, and most, though not all, heaved a “problem over” sigh. Now gas is back around $3, and what do I hear? Lots of people saying, “When gas gets to $4, we may have to make some changes.” Arrgh!!

Yet, some argue, carbon offsets are better than doing nothing.

Would you folks kindly explain your thoughts on this?
I’m also wondering, those of you in the Bay Area (San Francisco/Oakland), whether you think the large fire that wrecked some highways there recently will get more people on the BART, perhaps permanently, which will lessen the demand for gas and perhaps drive down the price of gas, if only a little?


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