Delta Airlines says: A sucker born every minute

Recently I received this email from Delta Airlines with the offer that now I could pay extra money for my airline ticket so that Delta could contribute to global warming “offsets” by planting trees. This allows frequent or not so frequent flyers to assuage their guilt over flying in an airplane propelled by earth killing petroleum based fuel.

Only one problem: Delta apparently never read the recent press release from Lawrence Livermore Labs on the link between too many trees at certain latitudes and increased global warming. Such a conundrum.

Delta Air Lines

Support Delta’s Force for Global Good Take part in the first-ever U.S. airline program to plant trees to help offset carbon emissions.

Hello Mr. Watts,
In a partnership with The Conservation Fund, we are the first U.S. airline to implement a voluntary carbon offset program — and we’d love to have you "onboard."

It’s simple. Beginning June 1, 2007, you will be able to add a small donation to fund the planting of trees in sustainable managed forests around the globe when you book your ticket at delta.com. These trees will help off-set carbon emissions by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converting it to oxygen as part of their natural processes.

We’ll disburse 100 percent of your donation to
The Conservation Fund program to plant trees and to support the organization’s education and outreach efforts. Additionally, we’ll make a donation to The Conservation Fund for every customer flying on a Delta mainline jet worldwide on Earth Day (April 22).

It’s just part of our Force for Global Good initiative that strives to benefit the world we fly everyday. So go ahead and take a flight, and join us in uniting our customers and employees in support of environmental stewardship.

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7 thoughts on “Delta Airlines says: A sucker born every minute

  1. Hi Anthony

    While the majority of the press on this recent study emphasized the warming associated with the build up of forests at mid and high latitude regions, I think that another and more important point is being overlooked..

    This study by Calderia et. al (and other studies) help give us insight on the primary areas of focus for future reforestation projects..The most positive and exciting thing to come out of the study is the tremendous benefit that is shown by reforestation of the tropics, which is currently being decimated at an alarming rate…This is more evidence that reforestation of the tropical regions of the globe is beneficial for biodiversity, preservation of ecosystems, and CO2 sequestering…

    Overall I think these types of offset programs (Terra Pass, Conservation Fund, etc..) are positive…However, to be effective, they must utilize studies such as this and follow the evidence…And right now the evidence points to preservation and reforestation of the forests at tropical latitudes…If they show me this, then sign me up!

    Matt

  2. Good points Matt. I’m all for planting trees…and it seems tropical latitudes are better because too much green up north gets in the way of Hadley cell flow for some reason.

    I am skeptical though of these companies that are springing up overnight to make a buck on the “carbon rush” (or maybe its “surge”)…its hard for any consumer/contributor to prove any donation made actually gets applied towards the result promised.

    Caveat Emptor

  3. Hi Anthony,

    I have recommend to our local Board of Supervisors they set up a carbon fund so all the Nevada County guilt ridden can make a deposit, keeping our carbon credit money local and not sending it to Delta. We can build parks and play grounds with the money.

    An aside, I only recently discovered your excellent site a few weeks ago. Also, a member of Rick Keene’s staff mentioned your blog earlier this week. suggesting we should meet someday.

    Russ

  4. Hi Russ,

    Actually I think the solution to carbon sequestration will be that everybody buy up bags of charcoal briquets and store them in their basement or garage. ;)

    Sure I’ll be happy to meet anytime.

  5. can somebody tell me who is getting the money from carbon offset? I would love to start a business that sells them. I have 40 acres i could plant trees on to make people feel better. any idea how to get on this gravy train?

  6. The good news: At least it’s still voluntary!

    From Czech pres Klaus:
    “The best environment for humans is the environment of freedom. It is the only right criterion to judge all environmentalist visions and all their categoric demands. The current debate about global warming is thus inherently a debate about the freedom.”

    Let’s hope it stays that way although in California it gets pretty scary sometimes since Arnold is the new Gore, apparently. ;)

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