Friday, June 19, 2009

Must. Resist....the default position - Omnivore

Blogging silence whilst the internet was down for a while at home.

So here is a thought that has been occupying me for a while.

Over the last 5 years, I have moved slowly away from my original carnivore status and now lean towards omnivore/herbivore. I do source food from as ethical and sustainable a choice as available in Beijing.

Still... we are going for our summer vacation in France, and I have an inkling that the great food we will be tempted with will multiply our carbon footprint to more than we can afford to buy credits for.

Speaking of credits - I have a fairly Catholic approach to our family's greenhouse emissions. Since my work largely revolves around "sustainable/ greentech investments" in China, I am a big believer in emission reduction projects and therefore carbon credits. Sure it may be a system of "buying penances" and you may not be able to ever fully off-set environmental damage. However my view is a pretty prosaic one - what other workable commercial alternative do you have? I really believe that this one of the cases where Good must not be sacrificed in pursuit of Excellent.


La Isleña said...

The main problem with carbon offsets is that, by giving up your demand for dirty/polluting activities (say), you're merely relinquishing to other people the opportunity (i.e. supply) to dirty Gaia. Carbon offsets are therefore really just a means of buying your way out of a guilty conscience...

It's a tricky area because the most polluting are Businesses (aided by ignorant/uncaring consumers) - and so, without Government intervention, individuals can do very little to effect change (especially if we don't "fight" collectively).

So... other than cutting out meat and increasingly too, dairy products; balancing consumption needs vs wants; flying infrequently and the like, personally I prefer to donate money to save the Amazing Rainforest (advocated by the likes of Dr Lovelock), say, than to buy carbon credits that simply don't work in reality (let's not even get into the dirty business of creative accounting in dodgy carbon offsetting scams).

La Isleña said...

Oops, I meant the Amazon Rainforest, which is of course, amazing.