New Green Jack New Green Jack

54 responses to “Carbon Offsetting just went mad”

    • Jonny Holt

      Dale, be careful about offsetting – because that is perhaps what you and your customers do best.
      I buy brown electricity from Ecotricity (70% of the power I comsume according to the website – 30% green). You invest the money I have paid into carbon reduction projects – your new turbines. It salves my conscience but please tell me if I am wrong in regarding this as offsetting. Perhaps I should buy your New energy plus.

    • Martin

      Does New energy Plus result in more new renewable supply than New energy Standard though?

      How about a ‘New Energy Supporters’ tariff – where you pay say 5-10% extra and that is invested in new renewable supply. I used to be with Good Energy which costs more, and would happily pay some extra for extra new supply.

    • Biff Vernon

      I thought the only worth offsetting was that arranged by the good folk at Cheat Netral:
      http://www.cheatneutral.com/

    • nommo

      @ Biff

      Muhahaha! That helps illustrate the fundamental flaw in offsetting in a most comedic fashion.

      Excellent stuff :D

    • Adi

      Message to Martin’s blog entry: –

      As I understand it Ecotricity has – certainly used to have – an option of a 100% renewable tarif. This was oddly labelled the “old energy” on the basis that it used wind turbines already built – rather than a tariff (the 30% one) to encourage new build. {I have some emails about this discussion from years back}. Anyhow – its worth discussing whether that tariff is still an option with ecotricity rather than necessarily reinventing a tariff??

      As regards offsets – (copied from another blog entry):

      there seems to be 2 understandings of the term “carbon offset”. It can mean either the product on the market right now (of limited value) or the concept of balancing carbon emitted by preventing equivalent emissions elsewhere (this kind could include good energy or ecotricity’s contribution via the grid).

      I think its helpful to differentiate between these 2 understandings of “offset”.

      Regards
      Adrian

    • Biff Vernon

      You could give us more money but we couldn’t do more with it right now – the bottleneck is planning.

      There’s a sad admission. Perhaps you could publicise just where the bottlenecks are so we can focus attention on the relevant planning bodies?

    • Jonny Holt

      Hello Dale,

      Thanks for explaining that important distiction between what we (Ecotricity and your customers) are doing and conventional offsetting. I now feel better able to explain to other people the direct link that doesn’t exist in offsetting – and rise above the “don’t blame me, I offset” mentality I had begun to think I would have to adopt.

      However, without wanting to labour the point, your New Energy tariff could with some justification be called “Good Offsetting ™”.

      Sincere congratulations on the progress towards a totally green supply. When you pass the 100% mark will you be selling any excess to Good Energy et al?

    • Peter Pannier

      A really crucial point to understand with offsetting is timing. If you emit a certain amount of carbon and you expect to be able to offset it, it needs to be reabsorbed/cancelled out/whatever in the same time frame as you emitted it.

      A plane flight emits a lot of carbon in a very short space of time, and it takes trees (and windmills too) a lot longer to make up for this.

      A study that the ecologist referred to recently claimed that it could take 100 years for a tree-based offset for a flight to New York to actually cancel out the emissions of the flight.

      Of course, as people interested in Climate Change understand, we much less time than that to not only balance, but dramatically reduce, our emissions… some people are saying 8 years is now optimistic. so balancing your harm 100 years down the line is no good..

      not to mention the basically racist and certainly neo-colonial assumptions that the west can carry on polluting if the poor world cleans up for it..

      and the facts that the basic science of tree based offsetting is challenged

      and that projects of monoculture eucalyptus plantations are often hugely environmentally damaging

      and who knows whether new wind power is ‘additional’ to what we should/would have built anyway.

      offsetting is always going to be a distraction from the fundamental fact that we need to reduce our emissions – drastically – very soon.

      i like the trees for life policy which explains this all clearly, and with a positive suggestion too…:

      http://www.treesforlife.org.uk/tfl.global_warming.html

      and it’s certainly intriguing to think about ecotricity’s work in this light i think… i think your comments are about right dale (see, i do agree with you on some things ;-) )

    • Vanky

      “Buying 100% existing green energy – is like putting your rubbish outside your neighbours house on bin day, and saying ‘I don’t have any rubbish’”

      That’s an excellent way of putting it! I’ll be quoting this one to my friends and family no end- thanks Dale!

    • Adrian

      Actually – that is a daft analogy with the rubbish because firstly – just like your New Energy Plus – the 100% tariff empowers individuals to take direct responsibility (whether a trick or not it invokes action which otherwise wouldn’t happen). Secondly, by creating profits from selling the current electricity generation (made by old machines) money can be reinvested into new capacity. Like both yourselves and Good Energy do. That is not just a “break even” scenario like your image of transferring rubbish to your neighbour.

      Adrian

      can be are used

    • Vanky

      Do Good Energy invest in new generation? I thought they just bought up old stuff..?

    • Steve Rogers

      Great little forum, I’ll come back & read here again :)

    • Adi

      To Vanky,

      Yes Good energy are involved in new build .. check it out directly with them rather than via this forum. ..they also do deals to secure financing of other people’s new build (i.e. some new build wouldn’t happen without them) and repowering their old Delabole site amounts to new build as the capacity is vastly increased with their building development plan on that wind farm. They don’t build as much as Dale and Ecotricity, but just because they dont build as much does not mean it should be slagged off.. they are still doing what is needed.

      Good luck to them both I say

      Adi

    • Peter Pannier

      Interesting to see your tree planting Dale – I’ll look out for it next time I’m passing by/looking in the direction of the windmill. Personally I think forests instead of grazing is great, but I’d be even more interested to see you maintain some level of food production from these areas… perhaps using (more) nut, fruit and berry trees (i did notice the hazel), or perhaps even more permaculture style with some perennial non-tree crops. Good luck with finding some land anyway, I’d be very intersted in how you get on…

    • Adi

      Hi Dale,

      You are on the same side as Good Energy but continue to fight unnecessarily with your words against them.

      They do look good with PR you are right.. whether spin or not, the government statistics claim they are the only truly 100% renewable energy company (see the independent website based on government data: http://www.electricityinfo.org/suppliers.php)

      That is not to say you are not being more effective .. you are in a couple of ways, but I’d like to extract the goodwill in you to stop fighting a company with the same motivations as yourself?! Seems silly.

      As regards why I claim New Build for them I suppose I did it because I trust what they say to me. I was of the understanding that the repowering (New Build) of Delabole has been submitted to the planning department and so made the error of assuming that would be approved. I suppose strictly speaking it may not, but chances are probable which means that New Build of a sort is about to happen which will give 2.5 times the amount of power once the new blades etc are spinning.

      Incidentally, I don’t work for them anymore and would be happy to work for Ecotricity or Good Energy alike – if you have anything going that suits.

      All the best

      Adi

    • Damon Hart-Davis

      When Mr Miliband gets his feet under the desk I’ll be writing to him…

      Rgds

      Damon

    • Adi

      There you go again Dale.. guess you cant teach an old dog new tricks.

      In answer to your question: Is it greener to retire ROCs (in the hope of encouraging someone else to build) or greener to build yourself? The answer has to be build yourself, I don’t have an issue with that. You are right on that point.

      In response to the 100% issue .. who should we believe: you, who has a vested interest in the image of your company or the figures which the consumer watchdog provides so that the public are not fooled by all the greenwash? Thats why the disclosure statistics came about in the first place..because of exactly this kind of confusion which left the public not knowing who to believe.

      Good Energy does a good job just like you do and so many of us are rooting for you and for all the other best renewable energy companies. Perhaps you should pick up on the good points a bit more. Ideally, I’d like to see you publically congratulate Good Energy on their new build (if they succeed at planning) and perhaps flog them some more of your energy via a direct deal. Work side by side not against each other.

      Regards old chuck,

      Adi

    • Adi

      Morning Dale,

      OK I feel we are getting somewhere here..and I understand that any congratulations when/if its built could be interpreted as sarcastic. Sometimes I think I should invite you and Juliet to a cup of tea to iron things out!

      I don’t know what tricks you talk about – something you invented perhaps, so I’ll ignore that.

      Yes I did mean OFGEM – forget that bit, the important point behind the FMD was that is was there to counter act confusion and greenwash.. you interpreted that to be directed at Ecotricity – that was just paranoid. The people who did greenwash which needed most correcting were the like of npower – with their JUICE bollox – when all they really did was achieve their minimum legal obligation through JUICE but packaged it like npower was really green. Ecotricity went well over their legal duty and apart from not making it very public that you bought in electricity from other sources you were not actually greenwashing – so much as not advertising certain facts. The FMD I accept is out of date but I think you should acknowledge that this data does a good job seperating yourselves from the likes of npower.

      Great that the electricity you sell to your customers is about 50% renewable now. I applaud you for that increase, well done.

      Final point on this insert: about it being a fuss over nothing.. I suppose from the amount of New Build you have achieved , I can understand you see it that way, however; if you take that logic to its natural conclusion, then anything that size or less (including individuals trying to install solar panels etc) is also nothing. That is not a positive or encouraging message to those people who are trying to do their bit but dont have the resources which you do.

      All the best

      Adi

    • Adi

      Hi Dale,

      I may have got one bit slightly wrong on the claim, but the main thrust about GE I think has been accurate enough and they do support new build right down to domestic level. By using existing renewable capacity and only dealing in that they do at least give individuals a choice to be not part of the problem. OK they dont advance the solution for society very much compared to your new builds but I guess they probably intended more new build to happen but it didn’t.

      Related: Is it not the case though that part of that failure is due to the fact that the penalties for electricity companys not meeting their renewable obligations were not strict (expensive) enough, so new build generally did not progress as quick i.e. the government is partly to blame for failing to fine companys more?

      Regards
      Adrian

    • Jonny Holt

      Sorry to butt in chaps – disturbing the “keen” debate about Good Energy, greenwash and all that stuff – but I want to pick up on the original subject under discussion on this thread; offsetting.

      I am sure just about all of us lead complicated and compromised lives. We are all a bit – or very – hypocritical, particularly regarding our eco-credentials. I certainly am and take no pride in it. While I now accept your earlier points about Ecotricity not being a form of offsetting, Dale, I am interested to know your (and anyone else’s) views about constructive ways to redress the balance of our planet-degrading activities.

      I drive – like most of us, I have too. I cannot afford to trade in my third-hand car for a cleaner, greener model (and anyway it is not yet nine years old so I am still amortising the energy and resource investment that was made in its manufacture).

      Also, although having avoided flying for the past eight years, I am now facing the prospect of having to make two long haul flights in the near future. Once in a lifetime trips – that sort of thing.

      Offsetting, while certainly not a cure-all, seems to be an activity that can ameliorate some of the damage. I agree that teaching Bangladeshi children to swim and thereby escape the floods is a crass interpretation of the term but I would be interested to learn about some, more constructive and genuinely inspired, ways around these problems.

      Suggestions please!

    • Steve Rogers

      Failing to fine? That’s the mess we’re in isn’t it, so many people who just don’t want to help and need swatting into it.

    • Jonny Holt

      Hello Adi,

      Thanks for the suggestions. I work in the motor industry and know its agenda from the inside, as it were, so I am very suspicious of the line taken by organisations like the SMMT. Their remit is to promote car manufacture and sales and I believe they cannot reconcile that with also being an unbiased source of information about carbon footprints and vehicle lifecycles. It is in their interest to promote the supposed green-ness of buying new cars.

      Additionally, the VW Polo bluemotion might be the greenest new car on sale from a mainstream manufacturer at the moment, but it pales into insignificance when compared to the Audi A2 3-litre that the same group produced 10 or so years ago. (“3-litre” in this context refers to its fuel economy of 3L / 100 Km). Unfortunately, it was massively unprofitable to produce, being a largely aluminium small car – the technology is relatively expensive so lends itself more readily to higher margin, larger cars. Interestingly, I am told this car is not eligible for free travel in the London congestion charge area because it is too old to be on the list of exempted vehicles, which only covers cars made since about 2001!

      An interesting take on the “true” environmental costs of cars can be found here:
      http://cnwmr.com/nss-folder/automotiveenergy/

      However, be warned. It is heavily geared to an American perspective on transport, it is alternately detailed and simplistic and is convinced of the green credentials of the Jeep Wrangler over the Toyota Prius – but for what I think are persuasive reasons. I can’t help thinking the Land Rover Defender would trounce both of them on that score – but then it isn’t on sale in USA.

      Thanks for the tip about the World Land Trust. I tend towards thinking that David Attenborough lending his name to them counts for a lot.

      Jonny.

    • Adi

      Hi Jonny,

      Yeah, Attenborough is a hero and the World Land Trust has hit the nail on the head.. I.e. Ownership rules..and so whilst we have capitalism, its best to buy in and be responsible with what we own..(to stop someone else being irresponsible). Also, the WLTrust picks areas to buy which are the habitat for endangered species. This is, in a way, a most pessimistic approach because it assumes that things wont gets sorted in another way.. but given that is possible for <60% of all planets species potentially..the concept of land reserves and seed banks etc is the way to save the biodiversity in the long run… like a bank for our genetic material if you like. That is what the WLT is trying to do along with the likes of Kew Gardens seed banks etc.

      Shame about the Audi A2 – still, we have to work with what we’ve got (and can do now), so Polo is to be supported which – if consumer power backed its environmental credentials massively would stimulate more cars of the same genre or better.
      Sales rule!

      Regards
      Adi

    • Rob

      Hi Dale,
      In the spirt of ‘whiter than white’ do you know where the Skegness offshore windfarm puts British Gas on the ‘pounds per customer’ investment scale?
      I’m guessing it is big money investment but a relatively small amount per customer. Heading in the right direction but more greenwash than pure commitment?
      Rob

    • Adam Brown

      Hi,

      I just thought I’d share some ideas about ways to live a more carbon-friendly lifestyle, and some other things that have been in this thread, like offsetting…

      Some points:

      1) If you’re using your car to commute, either start using public transport or share the commute though car-pooling. If you don’t work with anyone who lives near you, you can probably find someone willing to pay you for a lift on liftshare (www.liftshare.com)

      2) If you’re using your car to go to the supermarket, start shopping online, since the carbon emissions resulting from the drive, and more specifically from maintaining the energy-guzzling environment of a retail shop are far greater than the emissions from home delivery.

      3) Selling your current model to buy a more efficient one does nothing except emit more CO2 (that used in the manufacture of the new car), because someone else will be driving the car that you sold on. If you have a particularly energy-inefficient car, you would have to pay to have it scrapped to avoid this happening. The only way in which car emissions can be reduced is through sensible government legislation, like that introduced in the EU recently, and not through any personal action you might take (except for never buying a car in the first place, or leaving the car you bought in the garage more).

      4) Carbon offsetting works badly or doesn’t work at all. If you plant trees to offset carbon, at least you know that you’re taking CO2 out of the atmosphere as they grow. Most other carbon offsets are useless.

      5) But planting trees won’t solve the problem, because there isn’t enough land available, and you’d need to do something like bury the wood and replant every 20 years.

      6) Most offsetting projects don’t even offset the carbon you emit (its a kind of double-counting). So for instance, you could offset your easyjet carbon emissions by building a hydro project in Brazil. The hydro project will emit CO2 in its contstruction (and lots of methane if they flood rainforest to build it). In addition to which, you just gave Brazil more energy to fuel their economic growth, by increasing their electricity supply. They haven’t cut back on anything.

      7) Most carbon trading and carbon credit schemes (internationally) won’t lead to lower emissions. For instance, any carbon credit scheme would have to give credits to anyone using CO2 twice, in exactly the same was as if they never used it. One example would be if a coal-fired powerplant (pre-existing) was linked to a algae-biofuel plant, to produce fuel for transport. Then the powerplant gets a carbon credit despite the sure-and-certain knowledge that the CO2 will end up in the atmosphere anyway.

      8) For an offset to work, it would need to either change the mix of the energy that you were using, or scrub CO2 from the atmosphere that you emitted. The only such projects available are tree-planting (followed by the currently hypothetical wood burying) and things like Ecotricity.

      9) Unfortunately, if people were to adopt carbon sequestration through tree cultivation on a major scale, it would have exactly the same effect as the US ethanol subsidies, in that it would drive up food prices, reduce global food supply, and lead to people in Africa starving.

      10) However, becoming vegetarian would have both a major impact on your own carbon footprint, and would free up land to be used in carbon sequestration or crop production. Currently 70% of the world’s agricultural land area is used to produce meat for a small percentage of the population to eat.

      Some other thoughts:

      Cars are incompatible with low-carbon transport. As they currently stand, there are limits on how light a car can be made to comply with sensible cost and safety regulations. This in turn limits the potential fuel efficiency. Even the most efficient cars (not even counting production and scrapping energy and materials costs) do not effectively compete with public transport today. To make matters worse, measures aimed at improving fuel economy, such as hybrid electric cars, greater use of aluminium etc… require greater energy input in the manufacturing phase, which creates greater emissions upfront. In general, the more expensive a material is, the greater the energy costs involved in extracting and processing it. So currently, the best way to avoid carbon overload is probably to spend less.

      For instance, to produce aluminium, you need to melt the ore and extract the aluminium through electrolysis. If these processes are done using renewable energy, then the largest CO2 emissions in aluminium production would be removed. Using renewable energy to produce aluminium is a key part of the economy of Iceland today, but isn’t a widely used practice elsewhere.

      Making a fully electric car may or may not improve the situation. I don’t have any numbers to hand, and I’m not sure the research has even been done to quantify the contribution to CO2 emissions from lithium extraction, processing, transport and conversion into batteries, not to mention the other electric and electronic components needed to drive the car. In the long run, with appropriate efforts in all areas of the supply chain, there could be a large saving, though. So while one electric car might emit more than it saves, a transition removing all fossil fuel cars would probably save CO2 emissions, especially if combined with a transition away from fossil fuel electricity production.

      With all of this, I’m not at all sure that there is any way to make a modern lifestyle carbon-neutral in the final analysis. It is possible to take some personal actions, mostly to do with energy use habits, but the vast majority of emissions that you are currently responsible for can’t be tackled using any kind of action at a personal level.

    • Rob

      “For instance, to produce aluminium, you need to melt the ore and extract the aluminium through electrolysis. If these processes are done using renewable energy, then the largest CO2 emissions in aluminium production would be removed. Using renewable energy to produce aluminium is a key part of the economy of Iceland today, but isn’t a widely used practice elsewhere.”

      Back when I was at school Scotland was always quoted as a centre for alu smelting because of the ‘plentyful’ hydro electric and the smelters were sited close to the dams to reduce transmission losses…
      Rob

    • Adi

      Hi Dale,

      Yes I see your bit on the website about comparative investment into new build… this is a valid point – it doesn’t of course quantify the amount of new build which has been stimulated indirectly – so I’d have to disagree with you on your view that Good Energy have done nothing.. for instance they are good on helping along domestic scaled renewables which is in effect new build, see: http://www.good-energy.co.uk/PDF/081006_pricerise_homegen_release.pdf

      Nonetheless I agree new build is what is needed and you do that best Dale. The current ruler/measure – the FMD does not show that. The FMD does actually make things a bit clearer to many people though as a basic start to differentiate, for FMD see
      http://www.electricityinfo.org/suppliers.php

      But I think the FMD needs to describe commitment to new build as well (not instead) – in a way not dissimilar to what you have put up on your site.

      I think there is some call for a second column in the FMD which describes the “proportion” of profits which went into New Build. This would illustrate if a large company which is building some wind turbines is really as committed to renewable energy (as a couple of turbines could be bugger all to its profits) OR it would also show if a small company which may have only one turbine built but is going flat out to do all it can on building a second one.
      The individual consumer could then use their consumer power and choose whether they are prepared to support (be a customer) with a company which is potentially making most of its money from Fossil fuels or Nuclear but then adds a large amount to invest in renewable energy OR not be associated with companies which deal in fossil fuel based electricity at all : i.e. not supporting = not being part of the problem philosophy – OR any cross-over between the two.
      Anyhow, the concept of “proportionate” investment into new renewables- (however that is done – i.e. turnover, profit, percentage of customer bills etc) basically illustrates the level of commitment to renewable energy and would really compliment the FMD to give the consumer a fuller picture of where to direct their consumer power so as to support the right thing.
      (This could be called the RMC =Renewable Mix Commitment?)

      What do you think about proposing to Government that they should start the RMC alongside the FMD?

      Adi

    • Adi

      Hi Dale,

      A little scathing perhaps but I agree micro-generation is hard to quantify and may have happened anyway.. perhaps you hit the nail on the head when you said

      “nobody decides to install solar because they can ‘earn’”

      In this context, if people did get a decent pay back period from micro-generation then the potential contribution to the grid would amount to more than all your wind turbines put together and so wouldn’t just be a token amount but actually part of the package of solutions. In fairness – given the lack of that government incentive Good Energy are doing the best towards increasing that price per kwh within the current economic dynamics.

      This is again where government needs to take a lead, like in Germany – a guaranty on price/kwh for home generation. The government could further help this sector along by making compulsory solar on all new build housing/property.

      The other angle is this – that it is not only empowering for the grid to have micro-generation but to encourage it on home generation does help awareness and support across the board.. so Id rather hear you encourage it by pressurizing the government for some fixed prices on home generation than discourage it’s value because it is currently nominal. Are you still on a government advisory panel? Can you suggest such a
      system to be adopted by government incentives ..i.e. the guaranteed price idea?

      As if you dont have enough on your plate already!! Keep it up

      Regards
      Adi

    • Adi

      Dale

      I have just got the Oxford English dictionary definition of carbon offset(ting). Firstly it is a noun, secondly we were both right in our understanding of the term; i.e. it is a product and an action/process. Here are the details for your reference:

      In the Concise English Oxford Dictionary (July 2008), there is the term “carbon offsetting” which means “the counteracting of carbon dioxide emissions with an equivalent reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere”.
      By this definition the only real issue is the additionality of that offset (would it have happened anyway).
      A more in depth definition lies in the full Oxford Dictionary Online (Sept 2008), which defines the “carbon offset”, a noun, as:

      an action or process (typically the planting of trees) which counteracts or is claimed to counteract the emission of carbon dioxide resulting from industrial or other human activity; a quantifiable amount of such action as a tradable commodity.”

      By this definition a potential offset scheme (previously described) which builds turbines with the offset money would be classed as an offset. I rest my case.

      It is interesting that even in the definition though, they acknowledge what your reservations were a. by saying it can be a process or a product and b. by saying “claimed to counteract”. Thereby lending weight to your initial rejection of “carbon offsets”. By this definition though you cannot throw out all carbon offsets – if a scheme builds renewable capacity for instance. The issues of carbon accountancy and additionality still remain of course, and would need reserch prior to buying any carbon offset – to be sure that “an equivelant” amount of carbon is really offset.

      This, at least clears up one ambiguous element though.

      Regards
      Adi

    • Sprachurlaub Spanien

      [Offsetting is what you do when you don’t want to or can’t change the activity causing the problem, you offset, you make amends elsewhere.]
      Thanks for the interesting discussion.
      2 questions (where you probabyl have good answers to) come to mind:
      1) do you have calculator where i can send the visitors from my visitors to for calculating the CO2 impact they leave when travelling (in my case from Germany to Spain)?
      2) do you know the CO2 impact a website like yours leaves?
      Thanks in advance for any pointers.

    • Adi

      Hi Dale,

      Yep in principle 15 X cheaper for large wind investment sounds obvious but how do I reap the rewards of that if it were a private financial investment only?

      I.e. I have 3 motives: that I want to instigate new build, use 100% R.Energy myself and have my investment secure (Eg. With Micro, I can take my PV panels to any house I move to). On that basis micro solar generation is an empowering option to individuals with limited cash and something that can be done NOW. If, using your very persuasive logic, instead of investing £5000 on my own solar I could invest £5000 and achieve 15 X more renwables in the world – How would I do that and still have a “secure” investment? TRIODOS? Buy shares in your company (is ecotricity public?)

      Whats your advice on how to get 15 X the renewable returns but keep a. using 100% RE and b. have my investment safe?

      Finally, if one of the big 6 pays 20p/Kwh – which one is it?

      Regards

      Adi

    • Adi

      Hi Dale,

      I have 3 motives: I want to instigate new build, use 100% R.Energy myself and have my investment secure. On that basis micro solar generation is an empowering option to individuals with limited cash and something that can be done right NOW.
      However, using your very persuasive logic, if I could invest £500 elsewhere (instead of micro PV) and achieve 15 X more renewable capacity in the world – How would I do that? TRIODOS? Shares in Ecotricity?

      Whats your advice on how to get 15 X the renewable returns but keep a. using 100% RE and b. have my investment safe?

      Regards

      Adi

    • Adi

      Thanks- Im keen to know whats cooking and can your idea be combined with my theoretical concept of a dedicated wind investment offset scheme?

      When will you be able to say do you think?

      Adi

    • Jonny Holt

      Hello Dale,

      I saw this in The Independent. More worryingly, it was repeated in the current issue of “The Week”, under the section headed “It wasn’t all bad”:

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/australian-lifeguards-to-the-rescue-of-bangladesh-1774051.html

      Whether this particular effort is directly funded by offsetting programmes is less the issue than the continuation of the mindset that allows us as a society to think we can go on largely unchanged, as long as we chuck a little bit of conscience cash at the real – and blameless – victims.

      I find it bizarre that some consider it to be good news.

      Best regards,

      Jonny.