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Carbon Credits = Environmental Indulgences

By Bruce of Stone Marmot

July 14, 2008

The Roman Catholic Church had this concept that God may forgive sins during the sacrament of penance, but some punishment is still due for these sins. This concept was abused in the 1400s and 1500s where monetary punishments were encouraged to raise funds for churches, hospitals, universities, etc. (with much of these funds being diverted for other reasons). It was perceived that rich people could commit vile sins and buy their way back to “sainthood” by paying the appropriate indulgences.

Many who recognize global warming as real also advocate carbon credits. Rather than reducing their own carbon footprints, they advocate just giving money to some other environmentally friendly entity to make up for their sins. While supporting environmentally friendly causes may be desirable, just like universities and hospitals were 500 years ago, this does not make the giver a saint. Global catastrophe can only be averted if ALL clean up their acts. Many celebrities, be they rock stars, movie stars, former vice presidents, etc., think they can make minimal changes in their own lives, continue to live obscenely opulent lifestyles, and all they have to do is say the right words, strike the proper poses, give some money to the right causes, and they are saints. Basically, they try to use environmental indulgences to buy their way to sainthood. Giving to the environmentally proper causes shouldn't relieve people of their own responsibility to reducing their own carbon footprint.

This leads to a severe credibility issue. Many people observe this and ask why they should make all these what-they-perceive-as sacrifices when the people advocating these changes aren't making the same sacrifices themselves and continue to lead lifestyles the rest of us can only dream of. These vocal proponents of change for the environment's sake would be far more convincing if, for example, they also could show that their petroleum and electrical consumption were half of what the typical US household uses (instead of 20 times greater, as is the reported electrical use of the household of probably the most vocal person with regards to global warming).

The really sinful thing about this is that most of these people who are very vocal about global warming are also very rich compared to the rest of us. They can afford to super insulate their homes, buy the latest, most efficient appliances, and install solar panels to provide most, if not all, of their electrical needs, things which the rest of us who are living paycheck to paycheck can't afford. But most don't. If the issues these people are advocating aren't important enough for them to spend some of their great surplus wealth on, why should we who are less fortunate spend our very limited resources on their causes?

Sadder still is that many of the general public ignore this hypocrisy and do consider these people saints.

Even sadder still is that many recognize these people as hypocrites and consequently refuse to believe anything they say, even though most of what they say is true.

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