Sun’s EcoResponsiblity VP Dave Douglas has been blogging about carbon — and raising good and thoughful questions about the merits of different strategies:
My issue is with the fundamental design of CO2 offsets as they are being practiced today. Specifically, I believe there are 4 potential problems which limit the effectiveness of these programs. Not all of these apply to every program, but most have at least one of these issues. The four are:

  • Time shifting: offsetting the CO2 at a time much later than the CO2 is being generated.
  • Space shifting: offsetting the CO2 at a different place in the world than where it was generated.
  • Scalability: will the offsetting be effective if widely adopted?
  • Cheap substitutes: ignoring obvious direct offsets because they are more expensive than indirect ones.

He’s generally positive about competitor Dell’s “Plant a Tree for Me” program, but challenges them to be offsetting their own emissions: “My sense is that if you’re asking your customers to put their money out for something, you should be willing to do it yourself.” (Though he doesn’t make clear – at least not in these posts – just what Sun is doing about theirs. Hopefully that’s still to come in the continuing carbon series he promises.)
PS: And then, for something completely different, there’s this guerrilla tailpipe campaign.

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