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If we consider the behavior of some "ecology-minded" individuals as being akin to religion*, is this nonsense any different from buying indulgences during the Middle Ages? Discuss.

As a stockholder, I'm annoyed that the Evil Banking Neighbor is wasting my profits on this.
As an employee, I can't help wondering how many suckers fellow employees are going to waste money on this.

*i.e. based on faith as opposed to logic, reason, or the scientific method. Appeals to authority will be rejected out of hand, especially if the authority in question is Al Gore or the United Nations.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
chebutykin
Jan. 30th, 2007 11:35 pm (UTC)
On that one... yeah, it's pretty close to indulgences. I can only assume that the power you're "buying" is power that would already make it onto the grid. It's not like the certificates are going directly into building new renewable energy sources.

A similar thing (but a bit more more concrete) is carbon offsetting. With those companies, you pay in a certain amount for the amount of energy emissions that you want to offset, and the company then takes the money and plants enough trees to absorb that amount of CO2. That's the gig that Gore was using to make his documentary impact free.
wombat_socho
Jan. 31st, 2007 12:17 am (UTC)
I can only assume that the power you're "buying" is power that would already make it onto the grid.
EXACTLY. It would be more honest of them to sell fractional shares/bonds of power companies that are actually putting up wind turbines, solar panels, nuclear reactors or other "eco-friendly" generators.

As a side note, it's physically impossible to plant enough trees to keep up with Al Gore's CO2 emissions, and that's just from his speechifying. [rimshot]
chebutykin
Jan. 31st, 2007 01:43 am (UTC)
As a side note, it's physically impossible to plant enough trees to keep up with Al Gore's CO2 emissions, and that's just from his speechifying.

Now, now! I did specify the documentary, not the man himself.
wombat_socho
Jan. 31st, 2007 05:58 am (UTC)
This is true, but I saw the opportunity for a cheap shot and I took it. ;)
433
Jan. 31st, 2007 12:17 am (UTC)
My favorite part of that:

How does the green power reach my home or business?

Actually, it doesn't.


As someone who works in marketing, I admire that this person still has a job.
wombat_socho
Jan. 31st, 2007 05:57 am (UTC)
It's all about making people feel good, not about doing anything that actually has an effect on the environment. At least with indulgences we got some really awesome art now and again; you can't say that about this crap.
nornagest
Jan. 31st, 2007 04:15 pm (UTC)
They're selling it in megawatt-hours? That seems a little excessive.
nornagest
Jan. 31st, 2007 04:33 pm (UTC)
This is a pretty slick piece of marketing, though; I don't think you could design a page that would have more immediate appeal to my neighbors and their friends without wasting millions of dollars on focus-group tests. Look at it. It's got everything - the clever juxtaposition of technology and landscape, the subtle earth and sky tones, the slogan in lower-case as if to say "humble and low-impact" in a humble, low-impact way.

Clever that they specify power production in mWh per year rather than the more typical declared net capacity figures, too. "438,000 Megawatt Hours [annually]" sounds a lot more impressive than "50 megawatts", doesn't it?

There's definitely a lot of smart people working on this. It's too bad they can't funnel their energy into something more productive.
wombat_socho
Feb. 1st, 2007 01:29 am (UTC)
It's too bad they can't funnel their energy into something more productive.

They're carrying on in the fine tradition of P.T. Barnum and separating the marks from their coin. Good thing the egress isn't on the endangered species list.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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