Photo: NASA Goddard Photo and Video
While it can help to reduce the amount of new carbon pollution created, carbon offsetting is not the cure to the vast environmental problems we face in the world today. Carbon credits merely prevent new pollution in the amount purchased from being created, but does not reduce the amount of pollution that already exists in any capacity.
The hype created around carbon offsetting is that it will help to reduce a carbon footprint to zero. What is often ignored is the fact that it does not reduce the additional pollution caused by daily life such as garbage or non-degradable plastics. These credits can become a token gesture in the larger sense in that there are still other environmental tolls created through daily living.
Carbon credit fraud is another major concern to those who seek to purchase credits to offset their pollution. Often the money paid to these carbon credit companies disappears without proof that the pollution has been offset sufficiently. When combined with the reality that existing pollution is not being reduced, carbon offsetting is not a viable option in trying to sustain the growth of society.
The only effective and lasting method to stop the increase in pollution is to sharply curb society’s mass consumption. By limiting the methods in which these consumables are produced by enforcing tighter restrictions on pollution and sustainability the outgoing pollution will be reduced. Further incorporating means in which to better filter and reduce the carbon pollution generated by commercial endeavors will also help spare the environment from the hefty toll put on it by commercialization.
Ways to limit consumption in daily life include only eating local produce when available, purchasing items that contain minimal packaging and recycling every possible type of waste. Composting and using this material to feed into gardens will also help to gently clean the air around the home.