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Sep. 17 2009 - 11:59 pm | 9 views | 1 recommendation | 3 comments

San Francisco airport the world’s first to let flyers buy carbon offsets

Water vapour contrails left by high-altitude j...

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Via the San Francisco Chronicle comes word of a first in modern air travel:

Travelers flying out of San Francisco International Airport can be the first in the nation to wipe away some of the damage their flights wreak on the planet by swiping their credit cards.

They’ve set up “Climate Passport” kiosks that let people calculate the number of pounds of carbon dioxide they’ll be producing on a given flight. One-way from SF to Boston produces 1,999 pounds of CO2. The computer suggests a dollar amount for passengers to donate to Bay Area projects that specifically target carbon emissions (and there are quite a few of them here). For that ride to Boston, for instance, the touch-screen kindly suggests you donate $12.24. You can even check out Climate Passport website before your trip, and see how much carbon dioxide hypothetical itineraries might use.

Of course, the timing of this idea is both crucial and unfortunate. Crucial because we need to offset carbon emissions more than ever. Today, NOAA reported that the average ocean temperature in August hit an all time 20th Century high this year. But unfortunate because who in this economy is going to shell out even more travel money to support projects that they have to give the benefit of the doubt to?

The machines cost $190,000 to install. We’ll see how it goes.


One T/S Member Comment Called Out, 3 Total Comments
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  1. collapse expand

    Damn 200 grand to install the machine! It’s kind of a neat idea and if it’s going to work SF is definitely the city it would work in.

  2. collapse expand

    Should be interesting. I imagine a lot of the people will take part. I also imagine there will be a lot of protesting and complaining.

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    I've published two novels: The Secrets of the Camera Obscura (Chronicle Books), and The Third Eye (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday). I'm currently working as a journalist for AOL's Sphere. For the past three years I also spouted political opinion for AOL's Political Machine, which I also helped edit. My non-fiction has appeared in places like Men's Vogue, The Wall Street Journal Magazine, USA Today, Newsday, Travel + Leisure, GQ (Spain), and Vanity Fair (Italy). I've dabbled with short stories, publishing in Nerve and a few small journals.

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