Friday, July 27, 2007

Carbon Footprints

Have you heard the buzz about carbon footprints? As you can imagine, I think the idea is such a scam designed to make people feel more guilty about their lifestyles. Come on, people! Be wise with our resources, and don't buy into the guilt! Literally, don't buy! Because of this carbon footprint idea, companies have started selling carbon offsets, pledges to buy and plant trees, investing in renewable energy companies, and other such eco-friendly activities. It's a lot like buying off your guilt for living a lifestyle that you feel unworthy of.

This reminds me of the indulgences practice of the Roman Catholic Church. "In Roman Catholic theology, an "indulgence" is the remission of punishment because a sin already committed has been forgiven; the indulgence is granted by the church when the sinner confesses and receives absolution." ( So, if a person buys, ahead of time, a certain amount of carbon offsets, then they can drive their SUV without feeling guilty.

What makes me so frustrated is that we already have a way to live guilt-free. It's through the blood of Jesus Christ! We can live the life God has given us, without feeling guilty for it! Hallelujah! Furthermore, I understand that we are stewards of what God has given us, meaning that we are responsible for the development and care of the blessings. But I am held accountable to God, not Al Gore.

While discussing this idea, Erik came up with the saying, "My Carbon Footprint is Bigger than Yours." I thought it was so cute, that I had to make a shirt for his Birthday. Thankfully, he loves it!


chandy said...

Hmmm...this could be an interesting topic to discuss futher. I think I'm going to pick An Inconvenient Truth for our next book club read. (I bet Kate would come to that one!)

Joe said...

Of course buying Carbon Coupons to "offset" your carbon footprint does not actually eliminate the dirty energy you consume! The money goes to fund research and development of cleaner renewable energy sources, since the biggest obstacle at this time to more wide-spread use of clean energy is higher cost.

The Coupon idea is of course a gimmick, but I think it is a good one because it a) makes it easier for people to decide how much to donate, and b) takes a massive world-wide problem and gives people a tangible way to make a difference. Now there may very well be coupon-buying Hummer-driving folks out there who buy these coupons to appease their eco-guilt. Let’s be real: those suburban tanks still burn a gallon of gas every fifteen miles regardless of how many Carbon coupons it's owner has framed on his wall. But underneath the gimmick is a great idea that makes an overwhelming problem easier for ordinary non-eco types to understand and do something about. And in reality, regardless of the individual buyers' motives, more money is being generated to fund cleaner renewable energy, which I would say is a good thing.