Blogging Tory Erwin Gerrits asks: How does buying [carbon] ‘offsets’ save the environment?
He then cycles through the standard list of denialist talking points: CO2 isn't a pollutant, Kyoto a Socialist plot, carbon offsets don't work, Gaia worshipper Maurice Strong wants to give our money to the Chinese.
And he concludes that, because Global Warming is all baloney, the Conservative Party shouldn't really worry about buying carbon offsets in an effort make their own campaign carbon neutral.
Naturally, asking the wrong question leads you to the wrong conclusion. The question he should be asking is: Will the Conservatives live up to the principles of their own environmental plan?
Because the Tories have insisted that Global Warming is not all baloney. And because buying carbon offsets is central to the Tory's own Turning The Corner initiative. In fact, what they have proposed--their environmental plan--is a standard issue national "cap and trade" system, albeit one with loose time-lines and inadequate (because intensity based) emissions caps. It even allows Canadian companies to participate in the CDM, the international carbon trading system developed under the Kyoto accord. Conceptually, it is not a lot different from the NDP's proposals, and not a whole lot different from Stephane's Dion's Green Shift. For example, even under the Tory cap and trade system, money will flow East from Alberta.
But that aside: the Tories believe in it. Therefore they have given the stamp of approval to a means of reducing the carbon footprint of their campaign to zero but are not using it. Why not? Are they suddenly running out of money? If so, why not take all the money they've saved from shutting down their $1,000,000 website and its pooping puffins and redirect some of that cash saving the planet from their own hot air?