Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

August 22, 2017
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Inconvenient or undeniable?

Carbon offsets may not even help

In the last few years, both Air Canada and WestJet have joined dozens of other airlines and travel companies worldwide in offering passengers the chance to buy carbon offsets. But what are they really selling: environmental responsibility or a licence to leave your guilt at the gate when you board? Some experts now say the extra few dollars travellers plunk down to calm their consciences only serve to reassure people that flying so often is okay if you just pay to plant a tree. “Buying offsets won’t solve the problem [of climate change] because flying around the way we do is simply unsustainable,” Stockholm Environment Institute scientist Anja Kollmuss recently told the New York Times.

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