Claim: Consumers care about carbon footprint

This study reminded me of one of the most ridiculous green marketing campaigns ever, “carbon free” Domino sugar.


My view is that the only consumers that care about a carbon footprint are the ones incapable of understanding what they are being sold.

Do consumers care about carbon emitted during the lifecycle of consumer goods?


How much do consumers care about the carbon footprint of the products they buy? Would they care more if the goods were labeled with emissions data? Does it matter at which stage in the lifecycle of a product the carbon is emitted? Research published in the International Journal of Environmental Policy and Decision Making offers a way to find out.

Christopher Groening of the College of Business Administration, at Kent State University, in Ohio and colleagues Jeffrey Inman of the University of Pittsburgh and William Ross of the University of Connecticut, have developed and tested a framework based on the consumer’s accountability for the carbon emitted. Study participants view a carbon footprint label akin to labels that have appeared on some existing products. The label displays the carbon dioxide emissions associated with their production, transportation, usage and disposal, thus giving an indication to the buyer the likely impact on climate change of buying a particular product.

In the first group of studies, the research team established that carbon emissions and a carbon emissions label would indeed play a role in consumer product decisions, although not as great a role as price. In a second set of studies, the team found that emissions associated with usage were most important to consumers followed by the transportation and disposal stages. The carbon footprint of the manufacturing process was considered less important to consumers than the other stages in the product’s lifecycle because it is more distal from the consumer’s control. That is, the participants felt they were less accountable for carbon emitted during manufacture as opposed to the usage stage. Consumers value recycling a product, but the researchers found that, overall, the consumers would prefer manufacturers to offset carbon emissions rather than having to address the problem directly themselves.

Consumers are increasingly concerned with climate change issues, government legislation is being put in place and already carbon labeling is appearing on some products. “We find that participants not only take the carbon label into account when making product decisions, but they want detailed information on the label,” the researchers explain. They suggest that companies should prepare for how carbon emissions labels might affect future consumer choice.


Groening, C., Inman, J.J. and Ross Jr., W.T. (2015) ‘The role of carbon emissions in consumer purchase decisions’, Int. J. Environmental Policy and Decision Making, Vol. 1, No. 4, pp.261-296.

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Lucius von Steinkaninchen
February 26, 2016 10:18 am

Relevant SMBC about the ridiculousness of “green” and “organic” food:

george e. smith
February 26, 2016 10:18 am

Just how do you make a sugar, or any other hydrocarbon or organic chemical without carbon ??

george e. smith
Reply to  george e. smith
February 26, 2016 10:24 am

Will I suppose you could always make a silicone sugar; with the accent on the sili !

John Endicott
Reply to  george e. smith
February 26, 2016 10:26 am

George, the answer is you can’t. Hence why that “carbon free” marketing label was so ridiculous. Only the scientifically ignorant would not notice how silly that label on sugar is. sadly there are alot of scientifically ignorance consumers in this world.

george e. smith
Reply to  John Endicott
February 26, 2016 11:04 am

Well when I go with my wife to the Sunnyvale down town farmers market (tomorrow), to pay twice the price for organic vegies, I delight in telling the vendors, trying to sell stuff we don’t buy, that I never eat organic foods, because they have poisonous carbon in them.
The very best cauliflower that is sold there is sold by a non organic family farmer. I buy one of his every two weeks. Cheap too.

Reply to  george e. smith
February 26, 2016 10:27 am

My thoughts exactly. Sucrose is a common, naturally occurring carbohydrate found in many plants and plant parts. The molecule is a disaccharide combination of the monosaccharides glucose and fructose with the formula C12H22O11.
For those who are a little…er…slow, the C in the formula stands for Carbon.

Reply to  JimB
February 26, 2016 10:28 am

Also…is that a paper bag? Carbon. Plastic? Ditto.

Janice Moore
Reply to  JimB
February 26, 2016 11:24 am

JimB — good one.
And those bags of sugar just magically appeared on the shelves *POOF* — perhaps, at the wave of the wand of the same fairy who makes CO2 control the earth’s climate…. or at the very least were hauled there on the backs of thousands of leaf-clothed, seed-eating, bamboo bicycle-riding, CO2-capture-masked (okay, they made that one out of plastic, but they use them over and over and over, so it’s okay — full of germs, but, “cool”), old hippies.

Reply to  JimB
February 26, 2016 11:54 am

So are you saying that carbon-free sugar is crystallized water? what a concept. I hope they get a better container once it absorbs enough energy to de-crystalize.

Reply to  JimB
February 26, 2016 4:41 pm

I personally prefer Sucralose, which has 3 hydroxyl groups replaced with chlorine atoms making it, well, a chlorinated hydrocarbon (sucrose = C12H22O11, sucralose = C12H19Cl3O8) and therefore mostly calorie free. A safe(?) Chlorinated hydrocarbon, who would have thought.

Janice Moore
Reply to  JimB
February 26, 2016 5:47 pm

CORRECTION (per a friendly reminder from JustSomeOldGuy (an “old hippy”)): “… bamboo bicycle-riding… old hippies eco-control freaks.”
Nope. I don’t care if I offend the eco-control freaks of the world.

Reply to  george e. smith
February 26, 2016 12:11 pm

That’s why they call them carbohydrates !

Reply to  george e. smith
February 26, 2016 12:38 pm

Carbon-free sugar? Sell a bag of distilled water and suggest the consumer pretend that it’s sweet.

Reply to  Gary
February 26, 2016 2:06 pm

Ready to make, carbon-free sugar… just add sugar.

Reply to  Gary
February 26, 2016 2:18 pm

Right up there with de-hydrated water.

Reply to  Gary
February 27, 2016 5:23 pm

… and that deadly dihydrogen monoxide (H2O)

Reply to  Gary
February 29, 2016 7:09 pm

No, mate. Look at it this way: You can have a bag of carbon or a bag of … not carbon. Savvy?
But why is the rum gone?

Ed MacAulay
Reply to  george e. smith
February 26, 2016 12:50 pm

Well it would certainly be low calorie if it was carbon free. There’s a big market if you can supply carbon free sugar.

Reply to  Ed MacAulay
February 27, 2016 11:53 pm

I think they call carbon free sugar water.

george e. smith
Reply to  Ed MacAulay
February 29, 2016 10:28 am

Well if it still contains Hydrogen, and doesn’t contain Oxygen, then it is not likely to be low calorie.
It’s the Oxygen in it that makes it low calorie; same as in gasoline. Add an alcohol or ether to gasoline, and you are simply adding H2O to the gas, and the lower energy content demonstrates that.

Reply to  george e. smith
February 26, 2016 2:33 pm

Just what does Domino make their sugar out of if it is Carbon free? The chemical or molecular formula for sucrose is C12H22O11, which means each molecule of sugar contains 12 carbon atoms, 22 hydrogen atoms and 11 oxygen atoms.

Reply to  george e. smith
February 26, 2016 6:46 pm

George that is so last century. Since you’re not a certified Climate Scientist you’d best leave this to the experts. All you need to do is pay the taxes necessary to save the planet. Leave it to those in charge, don’t worry be happy and also guilty for walking around in a sack full of carbon!

Reply to  george e. smith
February 26, 2016 8:01 pm

The same way you make sodium free salt

Keith Willshaw
Reply to  Jirka
February 27, 2016 6:07 am

Bad example, there are plenty of salts that contain no sodium. A salt is simply any compound produced by the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base, most are of course rather toxic. When it comes to table salt potassium chloride is the main product marketed in this way. Sugar however has to contain carbon by definition. Even the zero/low calorie sugars like d-tagatose and l-sucrose contain carbon.

Reply to  george e. smith
February 27, 2016 8:01 am

Call Oprah. “Carbon Free” sugar will undoubtedly have ZERO calories!
Next we’ll see Coke proclaiming; “Made with recycled carbon dioxide.”

NW sage
Reply to  george e. smith
February 27, 2016 5:42 pm

If it didn’t have Carbon then, by definition it couldn’t be organic. I hate it when my sugar is inorganic [but then, I never did well in organic chemistry anyway]. /sarc – for those who need it!

John Young
Reply to  NW sage
February 28, 2016 12:17 pm

Save the Glutens!
I gave up on this silliness when I noticed “gluten free” potatoes at the local grocery store! Latest nonsense.

Reply to  John Young
February 28, 2016 1:31 pm

Maybe gluten-free petrol to stop global warming/

Fly over Bob
Reply to  george e. smith
February 28, 2016 8:31 am

Have Carbon Free printed on the package of course!

Get Real
Reply to  george e. smith
March 1, 2016 2:13 am

From what I remember of basic chemistry carbon free sugar would be water. C12H22O11 minus the C12 would be 11H2O. At least it was when I went to school.

Reply to  Get Real
March 1, 2016 3:06 am

Do they still teach that in school? Or would it confuse the poor students too much? We can’t have them questioning authority now can we.

February 26, 2016 10:20 am

If these wackadoodles are truly serious, they should take it a step further and refuse to consume anything containing carbon. That the rest of us would be mercifully rid of their presence within a month is totally beside the point, of course.

Reply to  kamikazedave
February 27, 2016 11:56 pm

Carbon free humans?

Tom Halla
February 26, 2016 10:21 am

Prima fascie fraud. How, pray tell, is any product produced with no energy? or shipped?
It seems as if it is a “carbon offset” marketing ploy, the most hypocritical concept since indulgences.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 26, 2016 11:20 am

Yes, we are all sinners who must placate the gods.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 26, 2016 11:45 am

Just one more ridiculous, empty marketing hook from the same family as “All Natural” and “Heart Healthy.” In short, BS in a basket. File under “Ridiculae,” please!

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 26, 2016 2:30 pm

Rental Car companies are letting people “buy” carbon offsets. Just where in the world does that money go?
I smell a class action brewing when this climate charade ends.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 26, 2016 2:41 pm
“Hertz charges customers who want to reserve a fuel-efficient “green” car an extra $3 to $5 a day to guarantee that Hertz will not trade them up to a gas guzzler if there are no green cars on the lot. Richard D. Broome, vice president of corporate affairs, said that the incremental cost covered the logistics of ensuring that the cars were available.”
Sounds like a profit center to me.

Reply to  FTOP_T
February 26, 2016 7:34 pm

Sounds like something P.T. Barnum would recognize.

Reply to  FTOP_T
February 28, 2016 5:51 am

It costs money to move cars between lots when inventory of the desired type will not be available. A charge like this allows you to assign those costs to the people who value that service. It’s a standard pricing practice for any industry where money is earned and lost based on differentiated pricing for providing extra services and add-ons for what would otherwise be a commodity.
Definitely not its own profit center, but the logistics program supporting it may have its own cost center.

Reply to  Luke
February 28, 2016 8:01 am

OK, so I get that it’s not free money for Hertz, but your explanation makes the effort seem self-defeating. It appears the emissions of that extra vehicle movement probably outweigh the emissions saved by the smaller car. All in all, just more assuaging of guilt and virtue signaling by the purchase of environmental indulgences.

Reply to  FTOP_T
March 1, 2016 7:53 am

Doug Wenzel,
That is how it is supposed to work: without government intervention. If people want to pay more to assure they, themselves, are driving a “green” car, then let them do so.
We shouldn’t mandate that no one drives a Tesla or a Leaf, we should only require that they do so on their dime and not the tax payers’.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 26, 2016 2:45 pm
Reply to  Tom Halla
February 26, 2016 5:10 pm

A similar technique to offsets allows manufacturers to claim “all renewable energy” usage when in reality it’s just buying “wind credits” at a higher price and then using the same electricity everyone else does. Unless there’s no power line going into a business from the grid, the business is not using 100% renewable energy. It’s pretty much a lie to say they are.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Reality check
February 27, 2016 8:07 am

I wonder how many times the same kilowatt-hour gets sold? I’m thinking of the show The Producers.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 26, 2016 6:49 pm

Since it is fraud, shouldn’t they be “punished”? If they do it in more than 1 state, are they liable for RICO charges? At the least consumers could sue for the return of their money.

Bryan A
February 26, 2016 10:22 am

Sucrose C12 H22 O11 (following the general formula Cn [H2O]n – 1)
Last I checked, “C”= Carbon.
To have TRUELY “Carbon Free” Sugar, you would simply have bags of Water

Reply to  Bryan A
February 26, 2016 11:38 am

“To have TRUELY “Carbon Free” Sugar, you would simply have bags of Water”
bags? Carbon free bags?

February 26, 2016 10:23 am

You can tell that sugar is carbon free because it is white. Everybody knows carbon is black.

Reply to  FerdinandAkin
February 27, 2016 5:21 am

Does that mean diamonds are carbon free too?:)

Phil R
Reply to  SMC
February 29, 2016 6:03 am
February 26, 2016 10:25 am

The chemical formula for sugar is C12H22O11. I don’t know what they have in that bag if it’s only H22O11, but I wouldn’t put it in my coffee.

Reply to  RH
February 26, 2016 10:37 am

It would be better written as 11H2O. Sometimes I’ll put an ice cube in a too-hot cup of coffee, but usually there’s little call to add water to it.

Reply to  Ric Werme
February 26, 2016 12:12 pm

Molecule per molecule, H2O is a more powerful greenhouse gas then CO2.

Reply to  Ric Werme
February 26, 2016 12:13 pm

Doesn’t coffee have Carbon it? Coffee is black, after all.

Reply to  Ric Werme
February 26, 2016 1:36 pm

Maybe if you put cream in coffee, that takes some of the carbon out. 🙂

Reply to  Ric Werme
February 26, 2016 5:30 pm

Hmmm… Cream in coffee… could that be a new carbon sequestration method? That might help to offset all the cow farts… I think there might be a research grant in there somewhere. 🙂

Reply to  Ric Werme
February 26, 2016 11:40 pm

Best laugh of the day, Ric!

Reply to  RH
February 26, 2016 2:20 pm

Sounds like 11 molecules of water.

Reply to  RH
February 26, 2016 4:45 pm

Sure, per the (use to be) chem lab demos, add concentrated sulfuric acid to remove all those H2O’s and a mound of hot steam filled carbon arises.

Reply to  BFL
February 26, 2016 4:50 pm

And here is a demo (apparently only crazy Russians will try this now):

February 26, 2016 10:30 am

CarbonFree sugar…… i even have to try? xD
But seriously, we truly live in the “(Mis)Information Age” to be tricking people with all this nonsense.

February 26, 2016 10:31 am

This is what happens when you dumb-down America. You can make these people believe anything…they are absolutely clueless

Reply to  Dick Piland
February 26, 2016 11:46 am

A couple of generations of failing math and science education and they’ve got the populace right where they want them. Pity the next generation of innovations will come out of Guangzhou or Bangalore . . . and eat our lunch.

February 26, 2016 10:34 am

That sounds like someone desperate to get a paper published. It also sounds like someone with a background in marketing.

NW sage
Reply to  GPHanner
February 27, 2016 5:45 pm

Or looking for a research grant in order to get a PhD!

February 26, 2016 10:34 am

I think the concept of carbon free sugar is all wet.

Matt Bergin
Reply to  Ric Werme
February 26, 2016 1:14 pm

+100 ROTFLOL Ric W. Good thing I wasn’t drinking anything when I read your comment.

Reply to  Ric Werme
February 26, 2016 2:31 pm

Another post worthy of Oscar recognition!! Touché

February 26, 2016 10:38 am

I think that carbon concerns in product labeling should be part of NFL’s concussion protocol.

Chris Z.
February 26, 2016 10:40 am

How such labelling affects consumer choice? I for one avoid such products like the plague, even if I have to pay somewhat more for a product that’s simply and honestly described. I recently threw a fellow out who wanted to sell me “green” electric power, saying he could come back with a tariff that guarantees me 100% nuclear power being delivered. That might tempt me to change my present contract.
But then, I react similarly to products advertised loudly and obnoxiously via radio, TV, website popups or flyers stuffing my snail-mailbox, so I guess I might not be representative for the hoi-polloi target audience they are investigating… Or am I?

Janice Moore
Reply to  Chris Z.
February 26, 2016 11:11 am

Well, Chris Z., I’m kinda “hoi-polloi,” and I am an ANTI-green consumer. If I have a choice, I refuse to buy anything “green.” Or “sustainable.”

James Bull
Reply to  Janice Moore
February 26, 2016 9:27 pm

I had something similar when someone tried to sell me “green” electricity, I said I would prefer cheep coal/nuclear produced electricity and those that want the “green” version should be directly linked to the windmills/solar panels and so could enjoy life with many blackouts and no heat. They took my response as a no.
James Bull

February 26, 2016 10:42 am

The bag of sugar refers to . If you go there, they have photos scrolling across the top of the page. One of them is our old friend Ursus Bogus!

Janice Moore
Reply to  Ric Werme
February 26, 2016 11:12 am

Ursus Bogus


Reply to  Ric Werme
February 26, 2016 11:22 am

He is sitting on a sugar cube, trying to fool the seals into licking it.

Janice Moore
Reply to  emsnews
February 26, 2016 11:52 am

And he IS worried… because it is melting and there are no seals in sight…. he is actually quite young and is crying, “OooooOOOOOOooooo, Aaaaallllffreeeeed (his more wily twin who put him up to this to keep brother out of his favorite hunting ground)!! Th-th-th-this is get—ting sc-sc-scary!!”
Twenty seconds later and the photographer would have missed that shot — SPLASH! — into the water went Bogie, paddling with all his might for the shore…… then, PAD — PAD — PAD, up the beach and over a rise where, looking down …. HE SAW HIS BROTHER SITTING THERE EATING A SEAL AND GOT REALLY, REALLY, MAD!

Bryan A
Reply to  emsnews
February 26, 2016 2:24 pm

Yes he is sitting on a Sugar Cube…A “Carbon Free” Sugar Cube

Reply to  Ric Werme
February 28, 2016 12:05 am

Actually he’s waiting for a climate researcher, and not to go out on a date!

February 26, 2016 10:43 am

Umm, yes it’s a stupid label for a bag of sugar, but it *does not* mean there is no carbon in the bag.
It means that the manufacturing process is carbon-neutral in terms of CO2 emissions, so the processing plant might be solar powered.
Let’s keep the focus on *real* issues, not on stupid “gotcha!” moments.

Bill Illis
Reply to  Peter
February 26, 2016 10:59 am

Here is the old Domino sugar refinery. Carbon-free process for sure.comment image

Janice Moore
Reply to  Bill Illis
February 26, 2016 11:14 am

@ Bill Illis+1. Your point, oh Peter, is MOOT.

Reply to  Bill Illis
February 26, 2016 4:46 pm

Hi Janice,
Just last week I responded to our office manager (secretary) and said that “its not moot point, its MOO point, like a cows opinion … it doesn’t matter”.
After telling me I was wrong she looked up “moot” in the dictionary that she still keeps next to her desk ( as I stood there tying to look believable). She confirmed that there is no such thing as Moo point, but we also learned that the primary/first listed definition of Moot is:
“debatable and open for discussion”.
The second definition is (as I always thought): “a meaningless point, something that doesn’t matter, no practical significance.”
The definitions seem to contradict each other, so I won’t use “moot” anymore; I’m gonna stick with “Moo”.

Reply to  Bill Illis
February 26, 2016 11:01 pm

Don, just say it really quietly 😉

Reply to  Bill Illis
February 26, 2016 11:43 pm

The building on the left appears to contain more carbon than the one on the right.

Reply to  Bill Illis
February 28, 2016 12:07 am

Gee! Maybe the closed that facility because of all the carbon in the old buildings.

Christopher Paino
Reply to  Peter
February 26, 2016 11:00 am

The fact that they are deliberately trying to deceive people *is* an issue. Sure, legally they can say “CarbonFree”, but you have to know what you pointed out to understand what it really means. To be truthful, the bag should say “CarbonNeutral”. But that just isn’t as cool (or deceptive) as “CarbonFree”.

Pat Kelly
Reply to  Christopher Paino
February 26, 2016 12:37 pm

How could they EVER claim that sugar is carbon free. There’s 12 carbons in every molecule. This is a silliness issue, and I hope they get nailed for false advertising.

Reply to  Christopher Paino
February 26, 2016 3:06 pm

My wife, an R.N., worked at a contraception clinic that was mostly used by college girls. Many refused to take birth control pills. My wife would ask, “Do you smoke? Sometimes. Do you drink alcohol? Of course. Do you smoke pot or use drugs? Sure. Why don’t you want to use birth control pills? I don’t want to put any chemicals in my body!” This is absolutely a true story. We live in a nation of imbeciles.

Reply to  Peter
February 26, 2016 11:02 am

“Carbon free sugar” is on a par with “Contains no chemicals”.
Such untrue advertising excuses need to be ridiculed to prevent them misleading scientifically uninformed consumers.
Let’s keep the focus on *real* issues such as advertising excuses, not on stupid excuses for advertising excesses.

Reply to  Peter
February 26, 2016 12:05 pm

Peter, if you think growing and refining sugarcane or sugarbeets is carbon free, then you do not know much about sugar.

Reply to  ristvan
February 26, 2016 10:37 pm

It is worse than that. The original article claimed that the most important aspect of “carbon emissions” labeling was “usage”. That was the point, not the manufacturing process. How does a consumer “use” a bag of sugar without producing carbon emissions?

Bill Powers
Reply to  Peter
February 26, 2016 12:20 pm

from that simplistically naive post, I think Peter’s last name must be Pan He doesn’t want to grow up and his best friend is a fairy with bells. Peter thinking it doesn’t make it so.

Reply to  Peter
February 26, 2016 12:53 pm

The bag is deceptive AND their claim of carbon neutrality is bogus. They get credit for a “green” energy plant, which burns sugar cane fiber and waste wood products. According to Domino, the wood products would have otherwise been sequestered in a landfill. Burning destined-to-be-buried wood instead of natural gas for power increases C02 emissions.

Matt Bergin
Reply to  Peter
February 26, 2016 1:16 pm

Peter if the sugar plant was solar powered the bag would be empty. 🙂

Reply to  Matt Bergin
February 28, 2016 12:14 am

Actually, that’s how the juice from the sugar cane was concentrated several hundred years ago.
Sugar was almost as valuable as gold!

Bryan A
Reply to  Peter
February 26, 2016 2:27 pm

February 26, 2016 at 10:43 am
Umm, yes it’s a stupid label for a bag of sugar, but it *does not* mean there is no carbon in the bag.
It means that the manufacturing process is carbon-neutral in terms of CO2 emissions, so the processing plant might be solar powered.
Let’s keep the focus on *real* issues, not on stupid “gotcha!” moments.
The trems:
Carbon Free & Carbon Neutral
mean two completely different things
as Carbon Free should be spelled
a r b o n F r e e (No “C” involved)

Reply to  Bryan A
February 27, 2016 4:06 pm

@Bryan A…good call. It is common knowledge that CO2 is referred to as “carbon”. Saves time and calls up images of black soot. So, the statement “Carbon Free” means a CO2 free product. Production process, transportation are not in question at point of purchase. If a label lacks that statement then we must assume as consumers it is loaded with CO2 and bad for the environment. Who would buy a bag of sugar anyway?

Reply to  Peter
February 26, 2016 3:30 pm

Note that you rephrased it as “neutral.” By normal definitions, “free” means “zero.”

Reply to  Katherine
February 28, 2016 12:18 am

Robert-where did you study science and English.
Carbon is not carbon dioxide.

Reply to  Katherine
February 28, 2016 1:55 pm

@Rascal…”Robert-where did you study science and English. Carbon is not carbon dioxide.” No, no. You misunderstand. It’s not me that calls CO2 carbon. It is the warmist, as in “carbon pollution” by which they mean CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels. Their goal is to associate driving cars with carbon black in the mind of the public. CO2 is colorless, odorless, non-toxic and essential for life on earth. No matter; it must be defamed. In their minds “carbon” means “CO2” in the public forum. It is not possible that people in the sugar industry are unaware that sugar is made from carbon (C). When they say “carbon free” they do not mean “C” free. They mean “CO2” free. And so it is; except for trace amounts from the atmosphere.

Reply to  Robert Bissett
February 28, 2016 3:06 pm

Robert from what i heard in that sugar video, they mean carbon neutral. Not a very good marketing phrase is it?

Mary Catherine
Reply to  Peter
February 26, 2016 7:53 pm


Reply to  Mary Catherine
February 28, 2016 11:39 pm

Robert – you are letting them off the hook, when you know better and should refuse to use their terminology. It makes you look as foolish as they are, They have succeeded in getting their points across because “everyone” knows that _____ whatever they choose to say.

Steve Lohr
February 26, 2016 10:47 am

I know now that all I ever believed is false. There is no truth only BS. If you can make up a good story you can make money, get a PHD, and sell sugar to throngs of morons just clamoring to feel smart. My God I am disappointed.

Christopher Paino
Reply to  Steve Lohr
February 26, 2016 11:10 am

Once I took a course in argumentative writing which covered doublespeak, I can’t stop seeing it. Everywhere.

Reply to  Christopher Paino
February 26, 2016 1:37 pm

Please forgive me, I could not stop my mouse 🙂

Gunga Din
Reply to  Christopher Paino
February 26, 2016 1:50 pm

“Doublespeak”. Maybe someone out there can come with a one-liner that combines “doublespeak” with, “Repeat a lie often enough and people will believe it.”
Maybe something like:
“Sell a false impression often enough and people will buy it.”??

Janice Moore
February 26, 2016 10:57 am

Heh. SOME Americans may be fooled (those congenitally predetermined to follow cult leaders, mainly), but the AVERAGE JOE AND MARIA, uh-uh. They ain’t buyin’ it. They want: great flavor, good value, happy family associations, and (check out the final ad in below video) the yoots still delight in defying authority. Yeah, yeah, they do appear to have been brainwashed by the “artificial ingredients and preservatives” propaganda, but not one mention of “organic” (yay!).
These ads cost a LOT of money to produce. They were not put together willy-nilly. The are excellent evidence for what the average American thinks about “organic” and “carbon-friendly.” Not much. LOLOLOLOLOL.
Fast Food TV ads (2015) — youtube

Take heart, all you battle-weary science realists: truth will win has won!
AGWers are seen as “the Man” by young people: so, they just laugh at them, now.
Only old hippies are really into AGW anymore.
That’s why the AGWers (i.e., Big Wind, et. al., ultimately) are screaming so loudly these days, “LISTEN TO UUUUUUUSSSSS!” Virtually nobody is.

Reply to  Janice Moore
February 26, 2016 2:20 pm

It’s good to see you back. So much for friendly greetings – now down to business. I’m afraid the evidence you’re offering for your hypothesis is merely anecdotal and in fact could also be interpreted in a way that would support the exact opposite theory. The cost of the production could be evidence that KFC is desperately trying to hold on to a dwindling number of consumers as the public shifts to what might be characterized as gastronomic equivalent of the 14th Century Flagellants. Mortification of the taste buds by bland good-for-you even if it tastes like cardboard food may be the penitence required to appease the angry CO2 god and save the planet. By the way, I’m an old hippie and AGW is nonsense.

Janice Moore
Reply to  JustAnOldGuy
February 26, 2016 5:09 pm

Hi, JAOG 🙂 — thanks. Good to be here, especially when friendly old hippies take the time to talk to me. I really need to stop using that term, “hippy,” like that. I’m glad you said something. I know enough hippies to know that, while the majority of them are kind of naïve (not you, not you!), they are not USUALLY into telling other people what to do and pushing junk like AGW. It was sloppy writing in my part.
It is the control-freak, self-styled, “environmentalist,” (old and young, but, there are a lot more “old,” now) who are the main AGW true believers.
I’ll leave the rest of your interesting comment aside. That’s the kind of “debate” one should have face to face, preferably over a pizza (NOT a “fast-food” one!). Written communication is SO limited!
Shalom and much happiness to you,

Reply to  JustAnOldGuy
February 28, 2016 12:23 am

Like that thinking.
You’re going to die anyway, might as wall enjoy life while you can.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Janice Moore
February 26, 2016 2:32 pm

Reminds me of something I read recently. After his separation, he was, I’ll say “disappointed” in what he had founded. He said something along the lines of, “They’re now selling fried dough wrapped around some chicken.”
Genuine scientist must think much the same thing about CAGW the more they look into it.

John Robertson
February 26, 2016 11:02 am

Would it be a “hate crime” to offer, out of the goodness of my heart and for a small fee, to liberate the carbon from the bodies of the carbonophobes?
It seems to be their hearts desire, to be clean and pure of all carbon.
Now while this is an insane POV for a carbon based life form, the customer is always right.
They state carbon is poison,pollution and demonize this vital component at every opportunity, how could they refuse a “cleansing”
Now all sarcasm aside, That description of the rank and file activists being willing to do anything, commit insane crimes to “save the planet”
Anything except get a scientific education, learn something about the world they depend on.
This kind of mass hysteria is embarrassing and those whipping it up are best described by an old label;Evil.

Reply to  John Robertson
February 26, 2016 11:49 am

I think they call it “smudging” out at Red Rocks . . .

John Robertson
Reply to  Goldrider
February 26, 2016 1:05 pm

Actually was thinking of a ritual involving a plasma arc.
Modern version of smudging for sure..

Reply to  Goldrider
February 27, 2016 5:48 am

Well, Colorado did legalize sacred herbs. 🙂

February 26, 2016 11:21 am

My favourite “green product” is Eco Harddrives for computers. Outside the server world, hard drives used to spin at 7200 RPM and 5400 RPM for the longest time – the 5400 variety simply being the budget variety. But when eco this and green that BS started emerging everywhere, suddenly eco-hard drives started entering the market. And what was so eco about them? New technology? No, they simply branded the traditional 5400 RPM drives green or eco, because they naturally used slightly less energy than the 7200 RPM variety due the lower spindle speed… 🙂 And so it has been for the past 20 years. Nice !

Christopher Paino
Reply to  Matt
February 26, 2016 12:07 pm

The WD “Green” drives are the absolute worst. The “conserve” energy by spinning down after being idle for just 7 seconds. This means that they are constantly spinning up and down which wears out the drives much faster than non-green drives.

Reply to  Christopher Paino
February 26, 2016 12:13 pm

A good SSD will use less power and be more green.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Christopher Paino
February 26, 2016 6:24 pm

I agree. I have had two Topfield PVR’s fitted with the WD 500GB “Green” drives and BOTH failed just outside the warranty period. One actually went up in smoke! So I installed a 2TB Seagate Consumer Electronics drive (No ECC) in each. And have been perfect for a couple of years now.

Hank Hancock
February 26, 2016 11:24 am

I’m the CTO and a founding partner of a technology company with global reach and a large customer base. The company was founded in 1994.
In my years of product development and distribution, I have never had a customer ask once, “what is the carbon footprint of your products?” I don’t really expect that I ever will. Most of my customers, willing to opine, think global warming is way overplayed and driven by political gain. But, then again, my customers are highly educated (doctors, engineers, corporate officers, etc…) and see past the hype of CAGW alarmism.
I have no reason to believe my placing a carbon footprint label on my products would sway a single prospective buyer.

Reality Observer
Reply to  Hank Hancock
February 27, 2016 11:24 pm

Mild disagreement. It would certainly sway this customer – I’d avoid your product like the plague.

Hank Hancock
Reply to  Reality Observer
March 3, 2016 10:07 am

Then you should put your money where your ideologically driven mouth is and not buy any products that don’t list their carbon footprint. That would be something like 99.7%. Good luck shopping!

February 26, 2016 11:27 am

Slightly off-topic, but just recently we’ve had a number of newspaper articles over here in the UK regarding the ‘Gluten-free’ scam. Supermarkets selling ‘Gluten-free’ versions of stuff that DOESN’T CONTAIN GLUTEN ANYWAY! And charging twice as much for it. Yes, there are a lot of stupid sheeple out there who will fall for advertising campaigns like this.

Ian Macdonald
Reply to  TonyK
February 26, 2016 2:51 pm

Not quite true about gluten free. Some people are so sensitive to gluten that if rice for example is prepared on a surface previously used for wheat products and not thoroughly cleaned, they can suffer ill health. The gluten free label is an assurance of freedom from gluten contamination which would not necessarily be the case for the same products in plain packaging.

Reply to  TonyK
February 26, 2016 10:52 pm

Isn’t CO2 gluten-free?

Reply to  Jon
February 27, 2016 5:25 am

Sugar is gluten free!

Steve E
February 26, 2016 11:29 am

My organic farmer friend once told me that “organic” is the latin word for grown in Pig Sh!t. ;-p

Reply to  Steve E
February 28, 2016 12:36 am

Organic spelt inside out is “Rig a Con.”

February 26, 2016 11:44 am

Here’s their side of the story:

Our certification is unique because our Florida-farmed products’ carbon neutrality is the result of our own production and supply of clean, renewable energy, which replaces the use of fossil fuels. Our renewable energy facility generates eco-friendly power for our sugar milling and refining operations as well as tens of thousands of homes. link

Black is White. War is Peace. Sugar is Carbon Free. etc. etc.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  commieBob
February 26, 2016 12:21 pm

Florida-farmed and shipped how? Magic carpets?
BTW, sugar companies aren’t looked too kindly upon by environmentalists in FL. “Big sugar” and their effects on the Everglades…tsk tsk.

Reply to  commieBob
February 28, 2016 11:43 pm

It’s 1984!

Bruce Cobb
February 26, 2016 11:48 am

It is greenwashing, pure and simple. It is because they use bio-fuel, from their own waste products, making it carbon-neutral. It actually makes economic sense to do this. The fact they get to label it “carbon-free” is pure happenstance.

February 26, 2016 11:53 am

But do they know how much carbon they have been eating in the form of wood pulp in parmesan cheese?

February 26, 2016 12:00 pm

Never forget the controlled burns of the fields that precede cutting the cane at harvest time.

Reply to  Doug Wenzel
February 26, 2016 2:48 pm

Use beet sugar! No controlled burns of the fields prior to harvest.

February 26, 2016 12:02 pm

Carbon can be removed from sugar by a process called oxidation. The result is a lot of hot air, Carbon Dioxide, and water vapor which are both so called greenhouse gases. The packaging material has a lot of carbon it and involves the use of fossil fuels in its manufacture. At markets where I shop, all the products that they offer for sale are trucked in via fossil fuel powered trucks. So none of the products at the markets where I shop are carbon free,
But there is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate. In part, because CO2 has no significant effect on the natural lapse rate in the troposphere, there is reason to believe that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is really equal to 0.0. If one wants to worry about so called heat trapping gases then N2 is the one. More heat energy is held by N2 in the Earth’s atmosphere then all other gases combined. Unlike so called greenhouse gases, N2 does not have significant LWIR radiation bands. Remember that a good absorber is also a good radiator. The average temperature at the Earth’s surface is a function of the solar irradiance, the Earth;s albedo, the depth of the troposphere, the heat capacity of the atmosphere and the pressure gradient. A doubling of N2 would increase the depth of the troposphere by more than two thirds which would have a very significant warming effect. A doubling of CO2 would have no significant effect on the depth of the troposphere but would cause a slight decrease in the natural lapse rate which would result in slight cooling and not warming. It is all a matter of science. Those who believe otherwise must be anti science.

February 26, 2016 12:09 pm

“My view is that the only consumers that care about a carbon footprint are the ones incapable of understanding what they are being sold.”
“incapable” how ??
Do you mean uninformed, instead ?

Reply to  u.k(us)
February 26, 2016 12:58 pm

There are traits that make one susceptible to bullcrap: interview original paper
1 – Response Bias – ie. Some people will believe anything.
2 – An ineffective anterior cingulate cortex.
3 – Less analytic.
4 – Less intelligent.
5 – Suffering ontological confusion.
So, yes, some folks seem incapable of telling bullcrap from the real deal.

Reply to  commieBob
February 28, 2016 9:30 am

There was a video running around facebook a couple of weeks ago of a tourist recording in someplace like Yellowstone and whispering hushed commentary on their good fortune to have captured on film a Unicorn! The actual animal in front of them was a bull wapiti elk whacking his antlers on a tree. People are quite capable of convincing one that they must be dumber than a box of rocks.

February 26, 2016 12:32 pm

“carbon free” Domino sugar

If they take the carbon out of sugar, would we not be left with the dangerous dihydrogen monoxide?
“A similar study conducted by U.S. researchers Patrick K. McCluskey and Matthew Kulick also found that nearly 90 percent of the citizens participating in their study were willing to sign a petition to support an outright ban on the use of Dihydrogen Monoxide in the United States.”

February 26, 2016 12:38 pm

Well I’m one consumer who doesn’t give a toss about the imagined ‘carbon footprint’ of anything I buy, but then, the veggies taking this survey never asked me. Maybe because I don’t live on campus or something?
What is a ‘carbon footprint’ anyway; is that what’s trailed by the sort of nugget who tries firewalking after a few too many pints?

February 26, 2016 1:00 pm

What a bunch of crap. Let us see their sample group to evaluate the demographic in more detail. My bet is they represent less than 1% of the general population and are left of left or all from their locked up classroom. We taxpayers paid for this crap too I am sure.

February 26, 2016 1:06 pm

“EXXON Carbon Free Diesel Fuel”
How cool!

Gunga Din
February 26, 2016 1:37 pm

I have to wonder how many research dollars have been put into producing “carbon-free” babies.

Reply to  Gunga Din
February 26, 2016 2:43 pm

I am waiting for some maternity hospital to advertise that their patients give birth to carbon free babies. One problem, according to the human body consists in part of approx. 18.6% Carbon. Oh the horror.

Reply to  Gunga Din
February 26, 2016 10:56 pm

And when will the call go out to ‘punish’ a woman (or at least tax her) who extrudes one of those sacks full of carbon after 9 months of accumulating it?

February 26, 2016 1:42 pm

Earth friendly products and things supporting a good cause are much more important to the millennial generation, they seem to be willing to pay a premium for products that somehow help the environment or the disadvantaged. You hear this theme discussed on the program “shark tank” sometimes, the shark investors acknowledge the huge marketing power of green products or products that are known to give some profits to charity when selling things to people under 30. Even if the benefit is miniscule or non-existent, its the appearance of buying or owning green products that is a status symbol.
One high school kid on Shark Tank was selling shampoo that was wrapped in biodegradable wrappers in one use sizes. His idea was you replace one plastic shampoo bottle with a box or bag filled with 50 wrappings of single use shampoo balls. Replace 1 bottle with a box and 50 wrappers? So you have a wrapper you have to discard in a trash can everytime you wash your hair. It seems like an absurd idea to me but the Sharks were all over the idea, and they mentioned the millennial generation as the target for the product.
Another pair of kids on that show had T-shirts with kid paintings on the front for $45, they looked like they should cost $10. But they gave $2 for each shirt sold to schools to buy back packs for kids. They were selling in Bloomingdale’s (I think) and the Sharks were stunned, one said “I can’t even get my stuff in Bloomingdale’s!”. Bloomingdales does have this b.cause department that supports various causes, so they got in on that angle.
The repeating theme is millennials want to feel good about what they are buying, that they are somehow helping a cause with every purchase, from shampoo to food to T-shirts.

February 26, 2016 1:58 pm

Rejoice, diabetics, hear hear!carbonfreesugar
The Carbon free sugar is here!
No more Splenda for me
I’ll take sugar in tea
It’s Domino’s sugar this year!

February 26, 2016 2:24 pm

Come on, that’s got to be a photo-shopped picture. No one is dumb enough to think sucrose (C12H22O11) is carbon free.

Janice Moore
Reply to  ScienceABC123
February 26, 2016 4:58 pm

The Domino Sugar Co. apparently thought its customer were, indeed, that dumb.
The you-have-to-be-kidding bag of sugar is discussed by Dr. Christopher Essex in his “Six Impossible Things…” lecture at about 17:15 in the video linked here: — the TV ad is included in Essex’s video.

Gary Pearse
February 26, 2016 2:55 pm

Gee, I’m going to go right out there and put sugar in my gas tank. The carbon is already offset!!! See you (much) later.

Robert of Ottawa
February 26, 2016 3:53 pm

We don’t care for carbon footprints here in Ontario. We just had a provincial budget where, in the name of saving the planet, we will have 5cents/liter additional tax on gasoline, more on diesel, and an additional $5 per month of natural gas, mostly used for home and water heating.
My question to the provincial government is, if this is to fight global warming, then how much colder do you wish to make Ontario?

Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
February 26, 2016 3:56 pm

My thought is that everyone should write to them and ask. 🙂

Gunga Din
Reply to  A.D. Everard
February 26, 2016 4:21 pm

And how much “carbon pollution” does it take to produce the 5 cent coin taken? Multiply that by the liters of gas etc. (add in the multipliers for the other…fossil fuels) and what has been saved?
Even if that “carbon pollution” doesn’t include the nickle in your pocket, it takes power for it to show up on your computer screen. PC’s aren’t “Green”. (IE Old CRT’s us less energy than LCD’s.)

Craig W
February 26, 2016 4:02 pm

Everything about the sugar, EXCEPT, the people who worked the fields, the cane field fires after harvest, the refinement mills, the bags they’re packed in, ships, trains, delivery trucks, pallets, cases, shrink wrap, warehouses, grocery stores, driving the sugar home, and using it to sweeten up tasty delights … is carbon free.

Reply to  Craig W
February 26, 2016 5:08 pm

Humans are ~ 18% Carbon

Richard G
Reply to  1saveenergy
February 26, 2016 9:43 pm

And they exhale CO2.

Reply to  Richard G
February 26, 2016 10:46 pm

Evil to the core. This is modern times’ version of Original Sin. Born evil and can only be saved through the intercession of the ‘clergy’. Repent and do penance (pay mone) else you burn in hellfire!

Reply to  1saveenergy
February 26, 2016 10:47 pm

Oops! ( pay money)

Gerald Machnee
February 26, 2016 4:46 pm

Do the Greens care about carbon footprint??
Only until they personally have to pay for it.
Remember – Suzuki does not pay – he uses donations of stupid people.

February 26, 2016 5:14 pm

Are you quite, quite sure no one’s that dumb?
When I saw that pic at the head I just wearily wondered if it was April the First, yet again.

Reply to  Annie
February 26, 2016 5:16 pm

That was meant to be a response to ScienceABC123.

February 26, 2016 6:10 pm

The paper states, “Consumers are increasingly concerned with climate change issues …….”. Are they now? It is the other way round : people can’t be bothered about it these days. What planet are these people on??

Reply to  AndyE
February 26, 2016 6:21 pm

“…What planet are these people on??”

February 26, 2016 9:15 pm is nothing more than a scam to sign up businesses to use their logo and receive donations from anyone stupid enough. If they even have salespeople I see them laying a guilt and shame inducing pitch on anyone dumb enough to listen. A few hours of imagination and web authoring skills with a .org url and they’re in business with almost no overhead and tax deductible revenue.

Tom in Florida
February 27, 2016 4:58 am

One of my favorite BS jobs was labeling on Twizzlers, the red twisted candy strips. The packages said “Fat Free”. Now that was true, because a Twizzler is made from 100% sugar. But they know that the low information shopper will equate “Fat Free” with “low calorie”. Actually a pretty smart ploy.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
February 27, 2016 5:33 am

Sugar only has 4 calories per gram versus 9 calories per gram for fat.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  SMC
February 27, 2016 9:35 am

That doesn’t make a 100% sugar product “low calorie”.

R Shearer
February 27, 2016 7:13 am

I like this Diamond Cut(R) carbon free paper shredder.

February 27, 2016 12:33 pm

“the consumers would prefer manufacturers to offset carbon emissions rather than having to address the problem directly themselves.”
Perfect. The researchers identified the inconvenient truth. Who honestly wants to waste time addressing a non-problem? Of course the vast majority want nothing to do with personally perpetrating the scam, or be scammed.

February 27, 2016 3:22 pm

On a related matter, does anyone actually volunteer to pay extra for their carbon footprint when making a flight booking?

Bob in Castlemaine
February 27, 2016 7:25 pm

Cats now have to consider their, or maybe their owner’s, “carbon” footprint. We use recycled paper litter pellets that come complete with a suitable message printed on the bag for the moggie’s education.

February 27, 2016 8:44 pm

This sugar is obviously a key ingredient in the latest fad, “The zero carbon diet.” Still to come, “Rid your body of dangerous carbon with our special two week carbon cleanse.” Or how about “mastering the carbon free lifestyle” which sounds more like self help for emergent AI bots…
“Why are the carbon units infesting the Enterprise?” Quoth Veeger, the robotic spacecraft of Star Treck fame.

johann wundersamer
February 27, 2016 10:49 pm

was ment for sugar thread:
‘indian reservation convenience’.
look up sugar, alcohol.
* lots of not asked for help on this gadgets; disturbing

johann wundersamer
February 27, 2016 11:02 pm

and then compare with nowadays inuit in danske greenland, canadian eskimo. …

johann wundersamer
Reply to  johann wundersamer
February 27, 2016 11:14 pm

compare to.
not ‘with’.
xcuse my denglish.

johann wundersamer
February 27, 2016 11:34 pm

“If I Were A Carpenter”
If I were a carpenter
And you were a lady,
Would you marry me anyway?
Would you have my baby?
If a tinker were my trade
would you still find me,
Carrying the pots I made,
Following behind me.
Save my love through loneliness,
Save my love for sorrow,
I’m given you my onliness,
Come give your tomorrow.
If I worked my hands in wood,
Would you still love me?
Answer me babe, “Yes I would,
I’ll put you above me.”
If I were a miller
at a mill wheel grinding,
would you miss your color box,
and your soft shoe shining?
If I were a carpenter
and you were a lady,
Would you marry me anyway?
Would you have my baby?
Would you marry anyway?
Would you have my baby?
Submit Corrections
Ain’t that America ?

February 27, 2016 11:41 pm

Sorry but having worked 10 years in two sugar refineries, “carbon -free” sugar just ain’t sugar.

johann wundersamer
February 28, 2016 1:05 am

thanks mod.
Sure I know ‘Hans’ reminds on huns –
I’d think scyths.
never mind posting that.

February 28, 2016 7:42 am

A bit like the energy drink with no calories.comment image

Reply to  JustPassingBy
February 28, 2016 1:33 pm

Just a bucketload of amphetamines?

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