Sunday, August 26, 2007


(carbon) offsets: compensaciones (de emisiones)

Sometimes called offsetting projects, which I would render as proyectos de compensacion de emisiones. There is a completely wrong proz definition of offsetting as reducciones. Actually offsets are widely used as an excuse to continue polluting and seem to actually make reducing emissions less of a priority. They function much like the indulgences issued by the Catholic church, clearing you of all guilt. Many of these projects would have happened anyways, without the funding from guilty travelers. Some are sketchy monoculture tree farms, or tree planting programs that have no funding for actually keeping the trees alive. I'm sure there are some good ones out there, but I'm iffy about the whole tactic.

It's all something I'm chewing on as I'm traveling around to academic conferences. I'm currently using wifi on the train from Edinburgh to London - my one feeble attempt to reduce the footprint of this trip. Ironically I'm presenting a paper at the IBG on guilty solidarity. No, not solidarity amongst all of us who are guilty travelers actually, but how guilt shapes solidarity activism by people of privilege, in particular U.S. citizens working in solidarity with Latin Americans to end U.S. empire.