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Opening Arguments


Much has been written about the hypocricy of rich and famous greens who use "carbon offsets" as a way to live the good life while lecturing the rest of us on the need to scale back. In some cases, it seems to be much worse than that:

In [the Times article] it was revealed that the leader of the UK Conservative Party, David Cameron, offsets his carbon emissions by effectively keeping brown people in a state of bondage. Whenever he takes a flight to some foreign destination, Cameron donates to a carbon-offsetting company that encourages people in the developing world to ditch modern methods of farming in favour of using their more eco-friendly manpower to plough the land. So Cameron can fly around the world with a guilt-free conscience on the basis that, thousands of miles away, Indian villagers, bent over double, are working by hand rather than using machines that emit carbon.

Welcome to the era of eco-enslavement.

The details of this carbon-offsetting scheme are disturbing. Cameron offsets his flights by donating to Climate Care. The latest wheeze of this carbon-offsetting company is to provide "treadle pumps" to poor rural families in India so that they can get water on to their land without having to use polluting diesel power. Made from bamboo, plastic and steel, the treadle pumps work like "step machines in a gym," according to some reports, where poor family members step on the pedals for hours in order to draw up groundwater which is used to irrigate farmland. These pumps were abolished in British prisons a century ago. It seems that what was considered an unacceptable form of punishment for British criminals in the past is looked upon as a positive eco-alternative to machinery for Indian peasants today.

What might once have been referred to as "back-breaking labour" is now spun as "human energy."

A global warming dilemma that its enthusiasts don't talk about much is that the energy use they worry about is what has brought prosperity and progress to the developed world. It seems churlish to ask the developing world to give up that progress, which is why the Kyoto treaty exempts China and India, among others, from the accords. But that would seem to leave an unsolveable problem. No matter how much the developed world cuts back on greenhouse gasses, and how much that wrecks their economies, the increases from China and India alone will more than make up for it.

(Via Best of the Web)


Bob G.
Thu, 09/06/2007 - 9:45am

And here I thought that CARBON OFFSETS were a style of printing press or duplication process.

Silly me.

Thanks, Leo...informative, as always.



Thu, 09/06/2007 - 10:43am

I have a feeling someone will suggest that Americans start pumping their water using treadle pumps to save the environment and cut back on our ever expanding waistlines.