July 31, 2007
by Donald G. Mashburn
Former vice president Al Gore, on CNN, before Congress, and in speeches at the University of Oklahoma and other places has made us aware of the importance of being environmentally sensitive and responsible, and becoming "carbon neutral," as he has.
Gore claims to have reached his Carbon Utopia by installing some solar panels in his mansion (which reportedly has 20 rooms and eight bathrooms), purchasing “carbon offset credits”, and .., well, talking incessantly about global warming and our “planetary crisis.” He will not go into detail, however, how he erases the huge carbon footprint he leaves in our atmosphere by jetting about the world to raise the consciousness of working class Earthlings who must drive to work just to support a family and a two or three bedroom home.
A major effort in his consciousness-raising campaign were the recent Live Earth concerts Gore organized around the planet the same planet he claims is facing a crisis for its existence. The concert tickets were pegged at $99 each, with “some proceeds going to … consciousness raising efforts.”
Why hold global concerts to raise consciousness, when Gore and his supporters have been on a nonstop harangue about global warming. And telling the rest of us what we should do, even before we have any kind of scientific handle on the causes global warming if it exists?
Why pump countless tons of carbon into the atmosphere just to get Gore, the army of musicians, and the even larger army of Gore followers to and from the concerts, just to hear the same shrill messages? If our consciousness needs to be raised, it’s in the areas of scientific inquiry and independent thinking.
Mr. Gore, by personal example, showed us how we as responsible citizens can become "green" and friends of the environment by purchasing carbon offsets. We can do this although we might live in a large home, like Mr. Gore, or drive vehicles that are fuel-inefficient, or fly by commercial airline. The latter, according to Mr. Gore and others who fear the world's future hangs in the balance, are among the most wasteful, environmentally destructive, and dangerous activities of man.
And now, Continental Airlines has announced that its passengers can purchase carbon offsets, through Sustainable Travel, so that each passenger can become "carbon neutral" for his or her carbon "footprint" that results from riding on Continental's jet airliners.
This is a wonderful idea! I've investigated Sustainable Travel and other sellers of carbon offsets, to see how they work and how we might help in the battle against global warming, if it turns out that the latter is not a natural, recurring cycle, and that it's caused by where we live, how we travel, and what we do to sustain life on Earth.
Some of the carbon-offset vendors disclose they use sale revenues to invest in companies with an interest in protecting the environment. And being knowledgeable investors and business people, we know we could and should do our part in making as many people “carbon neutral” as possible. So for those who share our vision, we have a plan to help us all become more supportive of the environment. Our plan is to offer environmentally sensitive Americans the opportunity to purchase carbon offsets at lower cost. The plan, if implemented, would sell carbon offsets through a new company and invest the proceeds in companies that are responsible in resource development and use.
After checking into a number of companies that sell carbon offsets for those who wish to feel better about the carbon footprint they leave on our environment and climate, and determining that our own carbon footprint is negative, we find have surplus credits available to sell to those who are not in a position to plant trees, drive only a few miles a week, and make carefully chosen investments in "green" companies and companies that are allocating substantial financial resources to the environmentally responsible development of natural resources. And we can develop more carbon-offset credits to make available should the demand be sufficient.
After evaluating our own carbon footprint, we found that existing companies will sell us carbon offsets that allow my family to become "completely carbon neutral" for $75 a month, provided we don't drive more than 30 miles a week, or $150 per month if we drive approximately 100 miles a week. If you purchase enough "carbon credits," these companies will send you a Carbon Offset Certificate that will allow you to become "Carbon Neutral." Even if you live in a large palatial home, and travel with an entourage in SUVs, you can now become carbon neutral. In addition to the certificate, you will receive a bumper sticker, saying, "I Am Carbon Neutral." Or if you can't afford to become completely carbon neutral, you can purchase carbon offsets that allow you to become "Half Carbon Neutral" or "Partially Carbon Neutral."
The good news is that our plan can provide these services at large discounts from what more active carbon offset marketers are charging! If the demand is sufficient, our price will be about ONE HALF the prices of organizations like Climate_Change, CarbonFund, Terrapass.
And we not only can provide carbon offsets at much lower costs, but we also can provide you with up to three that's right! Three! bumper stickers so you can have them for all your vehicles. Of course, if you have more than three vehicles boats, airplanes, snowmobiles and ATVs count as one vehicle each we would expect you to purchase carbon offsets in proportion to the number and size of vehicles.
Finally, our plan contemplates furnishing each purchaser of carbon offsets with a full-color printed mission statement that we are confident will be better written than any you'll receive from the majority of carbon offset marketers. And ours will disclose how carbon offset revenues will be invested, usually in entities such as environmentally oriented exchange traded funds and closed end and mutual funds, and companies that are devoting substantial capital expenditures to protect the environment in the development of natural resources. Some revenues may be used to plant trees and other vegetation that help reduce atmospheric carbon.
We think this is a tremendous plan that is far superior to any we have found, including those promoted by Mr. Gore and Continental Airlines. Don't send money now. Just send indications of your interest to sagecommentary.com. Subject: Carbon Offsets.
There has been no public offering of this plan. We want to receive input from family and selected friends before proceeding further.
Special Note: Eventually, we might be able to provide the carbon neutral certificates and the prized bumper stickers at even lower cost if we can get enough sponsors and volunteers to help us generate carbon credits, by planting trees and other plants, being willing to drive less than 4,500 miler a year, or avoiding travel on commercial airlines. We could conceivably provide the carbon offset and carbon neutral certificates free to conscientious citizens, provided sponsors will contribute sufficient funds to cover printing, distribution and administrative costs.
If you would like to participate in this more economical way to feel good about your contributions to the effort to end global warming, and encourage responsible development of natural resources, please send your indications of interest, input or opinions to:
Editor, Sage Commentary at sagecommentary.com