SEC Climate Task Force Tip #1: Delta Airlines’ false and misleading claim about carbon offsets

Reposted from Junk Science

As of March 4, 2021, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is looking for tips on false and misleading climate disclosures. We welcome this since we petitioned the SEC in August 2019 to take action against climate lying. Here is today’s example (and tip for the SEC) of climate lying from Delta Airlines.

Delta issued a media release today (Web | PDF) about going carbon neutral.

Moving past the obvious nonsense about “zero impact aviation” and “combatting climate change” — nether of which is possible — consider this statement in the release:

Is it truthful to claim that carbon offsets are “a viable, proven and immediate way to make an impact today”?

Are carbon offsets ‘viable’?

What does that even mean? Yes, you can buy them. Yes, you can greenwash and hide behind them. But try describing your financial results to investors merely as ‘viable’ and see what regulators have to say about that.

Are carbon offsets ‘proven’?

No. “The idea of carbon offsetting, which underpins so-called net zero targets, is founded on a number of myths,” according to 41 scientists. The basic problem is that while emissions happen in real-time, offsets might only happen at some distant point in the future — and the offsets are not really verifiable. Check out these 10 myths about net zero targets and carbon offsetting. (Web | PDF)

Are carbon offsets ‘immediate’?

How can they be immediate from an airline? Emissions happen in real-time. Offsets, if they happen at all and haven’t been double-counted, happen much later. Even if you purchase offsets ahead of time, that does not mean that the CO2 has already been stored somewhere or soon will be.

Delta gets four Pinocchios and a referral to the SEC Climate Task Force.

For geezers who will get this: “Delta is ready when you are. Delta is ready to f̶l̶y̶ lie.

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March 7, 2021 6:04 pm

Best definition I’ve heard of “offsets”?

An “offset” is where I host a party at your house, and totally trash it top to bottom.

So to offset that, I pay for a cleanup, top to bottom … of my house.

Totally offset!


Alan M
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 8, 2021 3:41 am

Well that’s one I’ve added to my list of quotable quotes

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 8, 2021 10:53 am

Protection or privilege payments. Delta must have fallen behind their quarterly quota.

Tom Halla
March 7, 2021 6:05 pm

Offsets are the current equivalent of indulgences.

Reply to  Tom Halla
March 8, 2021 6:09 am

That’s a brilliant comparison !!

March 7, 2021 6:14 pm

Well, Dang. I am SO disappointed. I eagerly clicked on the link for “Check out these 10 myths about net zero targets and carbon offsetting”, expecting a great skeptical article on how those are all fake, only to find that it’s an article from the climate hysteria perspective about why they don’t go far enough. <sigh>

Reply to  Toby Nixon
March 7, 2021 11:38 pm

YOU’RE disappointed… I saw SEC and clicked before looking at the picture well enough to notice it WAS NOT talking about the Southeastern Conference, and in particular Florida Gators football…8^)

March 7, 2021 6:19 pm

Companies can buy offsets, but if you track the credits back to the source, the credits come from very dubious sources and misguided government issued certificates, such as carbon credits for replanting trees where 80 years of regrowth was cut down last year to make wood pellets to be used in old coal plants that are “green” supposedly because of their tree farming program. Companies have offsets to sell others simply because they claim they no longer make certain chemicals of which there is no record they ever made. Watch out for larceny on a grand scale, paid for by a manipulated public.

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 7, 2021 7:30 pm

You beat me to it – pellets.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 7, 2021 9:13 pm

Sounds like double-counting! Credits for sale in the left hand and credits or replanting certifications in the right hand to show your fuel is ‘green’. Does anyone remember the Enron scandal of 20 yrs ago? They were also into carbon credits too, not surprisingly.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 8, 2021 4:28 am

“carbon credits for replanting trees where 80 years of regrowth was cut down last year to make wood pellets”
Got any evidence for that claim?

March 7, 2021 6:25 pm

Not viable, huh. A veritable “burden”, right. A wicked solution, to an ostensibly hard problem. A consensus, even.

That said, kneel. Off with her head.

Is there a social cost to the Green blight?

Gary Pearse
March 7, 2021 6:37 pm

This is what the woke minion world has come to. Those who don’t play this meaningless game make up a tiny quiet minority. Does junkscience not get this? Do they think this is a worthy scoop? Do they think SEC is going to punish Delta for what goes as exemplary behavior in the marxysparxy world of climate and NWO politics?

Reply to  Gary Pearse
March 7, 2021 9:14 pm

Use their climate insanity against them.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Gary Pearse
March 8, 2021 5:30 pm

Those who don’t play this meaningless game make up a tiny quiet minority.

I beg to differ. I believe we are the ‘silenced majority’. The squeaky wheel is getting thoroughly oiled. But, as my erstwhile boss used to say at pay-rise time:
“Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets oiled, sometimes it just gets replaced.

Last edited 1 year ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
Joel O'Bryan
March 7, 2021 6:48 pm

“Delta is ready when you are. Delta is ready to f̶l̶y̶ lie.”

That was an AM radio ad jingle in 1970-1971.

Joel O'Bryan
March 7, 2021 7:02 pm

We are in a post-Truth society now.

A recent Wall Street Journal Op-Ed noted this social phenomenon.

While some blame Trump, as his lies about attendance at rallies, illegal voters, and inauguration attendance caused the Left wing media to go berserk, what happened was it incentivized the Democrats to start blatantly and openly lying about things that mattered. They started lies of claims of evidence of Russia collusion when there was none as one major example that continued for 4 years.

Of course big lies about Climate Change have been around since about 1995 when Ben Santer got away with his unethical, deceptive Chapter 8 re-write on attribution claims.

I think back to 1988 when Hansen gave his Senate testimony, at least for the time, it was the best science available, it wasn’t a bald face lie like we see today on climate. Hansen’s orignal claims in 1988 simply became un-retracted false conclusions that grew into the climate scam pushed on by liars like Mike Mann, the CRU and Potsdam Institute scammers, and US government scientists like Gavin Schmidt. Al Gore was of course lying his ass-off in in both his Inconvenient Truth movies while selling his failed TV network to Gulf oil sheiks for a fortune. And now we have the Obama Big Lie Team back in the White House with perennial liars John Kerry and Benghazi Susan Rice as senior advisors to a Dementia-ridden President being shielded from live TV cameras.

The Cancel Culture that is destroying our society now is fueled by Leftist-Marxist inspired lies at every turn about claims of systemic racism in policing (false) to claims of racist messages in Dr Suess children’s books. Standardized testing like SAT, ACT and the like are now being ditched because of claims they are discriminatory to blacks. They are only discriminatory in terms of merit because our public schools, schools run by teachers unions, have disproportionally failed inner city children. The science and engineer professors at our universities and colleges who looked from a distance in amusement at the liberal arts and social science colleagues engaging in cancel culture, now find that culture coming after them and their ability to assign course work and administer tests on mastery of subject material. it has come for them and their work now.

None of this can end well.

Last edited 1 year ago by Joel O’Bryan
Peta of Newark
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 8, 2021 12:51 am

It never does and people never learn.
It’s like sex – every generation has to re-invent it

Have we seen this before? I get deja-vu.
Just a short read anyhow

March 7, 2021 7:29 pm

From the announcement of the new group:”In addition, the Climate and ESG Task Force will evaluate and pursue tips, referrals, and whistleblower complaints on ESG-related issues, and provide expertise and insight to teams working on ESG-related matters across the Division. ESG related tips, referrals and whistleblower complaints can be submitted here.”
I have to wonder if they will actually pursue tips about errors and misleading statements by the likes of AOC or John Kerry. Should we tip them off to the errors in the IPCC work with references to the actual refutation of their erroneous assumptions? Maybe this is a way to get some actual investigation into the hysteria that is being spread around these days.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  DMA
March 7, 2021 7:59 pm

Any mention of a climate crisis (or derivatives thereof) by the current administration should be reported, since they cannot present a single piece of observational evidence to support such a claim.

March 7, 2021 7:46 pm

It’s just not the claim of offsetting.
Some organisations claim 100% renewable energy.

Melbourne City Council have had to walk back their claim several times.

Rud Istvan
March 7, 2021 7:53 pm

This is just one of several reasons I have over 4 million AA miles, and almost none on Delta. Airline should care about punctuality, service, and cost—not carbon credits.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Rud Istvan
March 8, 2021 5:38 pm

I travel all over the world (nowhere near 4 million miles, though), and I have to say that all USA airlines are pretty awful, and the ground facilities for business class (aka ‘first class’ in the USA) is abominable. You don’t even get free drinks or WiFi. I found the same with hotels.

You just need to travel in Aisa or on Asian airlines to see what it should be like. Every round-the-world trip I used to make, I tried to travel across the USA as quickly as possible. Now that I’m retired I don’t go, particularly because my international health insurance would double in premiums if I wanted cover there.

March 7, 2021 7:54 pm

A key weapon in any political war is to hold leaders accountable to the laws they created.
This is definitely an opportunity to expose lies on the alarmists side.
It doesn’t matter if there isn’t any indictment. Public exposure is what’s important.

March 7, 2021 8:13 pm

How do you think Tesla makes it’s money? It isn’t cars, it’s the offsets they sell to other automakers.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Rhs
March 8, 2021 5:39 pm


March 7, 2021 8:22 pm

Doh! You are spoiling all of the fun !!!

If progressives won’t take a hard look at the science behind all of this, they certainly won’t investigate the claims of Delta Airlines. (feeling good is good enough)

I am waiting with anticipation and glee for the announcement that ExxonMobil will be carbon-free by the year 2030.

A good touch would be to have their patrons watch a 3 minute video from Greta Thunberg before every fill up… it could close with the line: “Don’t you Dare!!!”. (fill up that tank)


Last edited 1 year ago by Anon
March 7, 2021 8:51 pm

Bill Gates spends $7mm/yr on carbon offsets, apx $400/ton for his sins. USA emits 5bln tons per year. If we used same techniques Bill uses to offset, that will only come up to $2trillion/yr. What a bargain. Let’s just do it! /s

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  RelPerm
March 8, 2021 4:34 am

and that cost for him is comparable to most of us buying a coffee at McDonalds

Leon Warren
March 7, 2021 8:57 pm

What does “Carbon Neutral” mean? According to the Oxford dictionary “Neutral ” means – “neither one nor another” How can carbon be neither one nor another? If these alarmists and academics do not understand the English language, how can they understand the climate.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Leon Warren
March 9, 2021 6:12 am

“If these alarmists and academics do not understand the English language, how can they understand the climate.”

Yes, they can’t even get the name right. It’s Carbon Dioxide, not Carbon. They are two different things.

I read an article just yesterday in Astronomy magazine where the author, who knows the difference, referred to carbon dioxide as both carbon dioxide and carbon in the same article. It’s getting kind of ridiculous. I sense herd conformity with incorrect nomenclature going on.

Humans do like to fit in with what they think society wants. There is strong societal pressure to conform to the majority view. Sometimes the majority view is incorrect.

Fortunately, for me, I see societal/majority conformity as a block to real understanding, and almost always automatically reject conformity. If everyone’s doing it, I’m questioning it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tom Abbott
Neil Jordan
March 7, 2021 9:00 pm

Pay for carbon offsets? This link will provide certificates of carbon offsets for free:
The carbon offset process is explained here:
Buying and selling carbon offsets is like pushing the food around on your plate to create the impression that you have eaten it.

Chris Hanley
March 7, 2021 9:09 pm

Rule of law in US is already under threat as for example in the treatment of BLM mobs compared to Trump supporters.
‘SEC announces Climate Task Force to punish climate lying’.
Misinformation disinformation false information is endemic in climate discussions on both ‘sides’, there is no guarantee that the law/regulation will be applied fairly or equally.

Chris Hanley
March 7, 2021 9:28 pm

A bunch of bureaucrats deciding what is true or false, what could possibly go wrong⸮

Flight Level
March 7, 2021 11:38 pm

From the inside-out, climate virtue signaling PR costs & other gifts + presents to NGO’s are offset by wages, “the lowest bidder” parts & supplies and maintenance performed in locations that you wouldn’t visit even if you won a free 1st class return trip, hotel and limo.

Then obviously blame the crew when a wing rips midflight.

Right-Handed Shark
March 8, 2021 12:42 am

My favourite delta commercial:

Joseph Zorzin
March 8, 2021 4:39 am

If you give Massachusetts Audubon your money- they’ll be happy to give you carbon credits. The following image is on their web site- showing that flyers feeling guilty can feel better now- as Audubon will invest in clean energy- though, when a firm was going to build a wind farm next to one of their properties- they bitched and got it stopped. Interesting that those wind turbines don’t look much bigger than those not so tall trees- rather than several hundred feet.

March 8, 2021 5:32 am

Is it truthful to claim that carbon offsets are “a viable, proven and immediate way to make an impact today”?

Well it’s certainly true that a consumer of a Delta Airlines flight would be CO2 neutral to the extent that say Al Gore gave up equivalent CO2 output from his current outpourings. The problem arises when ever more consumers want said CO2 neutral flights and Al is no longer forthcoming with the cutbacks. It’s called the fallacy of composition as Al might eventually have plenty of dough selling said credits but nothing CO2 neutral to spend it on which some would see as a great improvement.

Coach Springer
March 8, 2021 6:57 am

False and misleading = Climate disclosures

March 8, 2021 9:14 am

Carbon credits are a financial solution (fraud) for a non-existent problem.

Co2 is 0.042% of the atmosphere and it is impossible for that small amount of gas to impact the climate and there has never been experimental evidence quantifying co2 climate sensitivity.

Higher levels of atmospheric co2 increase agricultural production making it a benefit and the need to reduce co2 emissions is a fallacy.

Andy Pattullo
March 8, 2021 9:15 am

Carbon offsets are as real as CAGW.

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
March 8, 2021 9:17 am

As in they exist only in the minds and models of the religious adherents to the church of climate Armageddon. An imaginary solution to an imaginary problem. Seems fitting.

Steve Z
March 8, 2021 12:56 pm

So if Delta budgeted $30 million to “offset” 13 million metric tons of emissions, that’s about $2.31 per ton. Now let’s see if anyone can figure out how to sequester a metric ton of CO2 for $2.31.

For comparison, a simple-cycle gas-fired power plant, with an assumed efficiency of 35%, can produce about 1,768 kWh of electricity while emitting 1 metric ton of CO2. If the electricity is sold for $0.12 per kWh, customers would pay $212.16 for the electricity generated by enough gas to emit 1 metric ton of CO2.

If the CO2 emissions were sequestered, the power required for compression of CO2 consumes about 20% of the power generated, meaning that the same amount of natural gas burned would only produce 1,768 * (1 – 0.20) = 1,414 kWh, which would sell for $169.68. The power company would lose a net 212.16 – 169.68 = $42.48 of revenue by sequestering 1 metric ton of CO2.

So what Delta is paying for the offsets is only about 5.5% of the cost of sequestering CO2 emissions from a relatively efficient gas-fired power plant.

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