What if we paid a tree tax in our petrol price and planted trees to make up for the fossil carbon put into the air when we drive? According to this article there isn't enough space..... http://www.ptua.org.au/myths/trees.shtml
If each car needs 600 m2 planted out as trees per year and there are 2 million cars in Victoria that's 1,200,000,000 square meters = 120,000 hectares or 12,000 square kilometres every year - if Victoria is a total of 237,629 square kilometres then in 19 years the whole of Victoria will be covered in trees and there will be no place to drive a car... pretty cool eh? I'm looking forward to my excursion to the bio fuel place.... turning green slime into diesel looks good.... short circuit the million year fossil process..... so trees as carbon offsets work if there are only a few people doing it. But if you actually want to solve the problem we need something that will work when we all do it.
The same with the green power that I would like to buy but I'm not - for one reason or another - at the moment. When I look at my fuel bill right now it says 100% of my energy consumption comes from fossil sources and causes greenhouse gas emissions. But all in all Victoria's power comes from coal, gas, hydro and wind and some people have grid interactive photovoltaics on their roofs - bless them. So all the people who pay the extra to do their bit for the environment are actually having all the existing sustainable sources of energy counted in their contribution - seems like their money isn't making as much of a difference as it should. Or as they intended - if I pay the extra I want to see sustainable energy over and above the government's MRET produced in this state. And reflected in the way my bill is presented.
Well this article on green power accreditation says it all works - the green is because it's all new sustainable generation - post 1997... well I'll breathe deep and buy up when I'm in the new home..... just hope they've got it right eh?