Appalachian State U makes pitch for carbon indulgences … er … offsets

Appalachian State University’s Office of Sustainability has a way to relieve students of their guilt for existing. According to the university’s newsletter, The Appalachian, for $8 contribution to the Carbon Neutral Commuter program the money will be given to Sterling Planet, a commercial offset and green energy credit company.

While the program, not surprisingly, is being touted as a success, what a terrible thing to do to browbeat students with information like this. The write up is one way for Appalachian University to browbeat students for their present and future lifestyles.

Environmentalists got the idea for carbon offsets by borrowing the system of indulgences used by the Catholic Church. For centuries the church sold indulgences as a way for people to offset their sins so they could enter Heaven. This ancient practice has made a comeback.

Carbon offsetting is also how Al Gore and many celebrities (like Leonardo DiCaprio) are able to justify his lucrative lifestyle while making money hand-over-fist by participating in this scheme. Fortunately, his carbon offset-based company CCX went belly-up in 2010. A couple of years ago, an environmentalist think tank conducted research on a UN-backed carbon offset scheme in which the conclusion of the scientists involved in the research was carbon offsets dramatically increase, rather than decrease, carbon emission.

Aside from environmentalist philosophy and ethics being both grounded in altruistic sacrifice, carbon offsetting proves the environmentalist movement is religious in nature.