You go to the supermarket, buy 50 sugar-rich candy bars, eat them on the way to your doctor`s appointment, and he or she says, you have nothing to worry about. The fat and the calories are credited to the producer. You are healthy. In fact, eat as much junk food as you want. As long as you don`t make it, itʻs not your problem!

Absurd, yes!

That is the approach used in climate change!

For the past 25 years, the U.S. has exported greenhouse-gas-intensive industries to other countries like China.

China is now the No. 1 greenhouse gas emitter in the world, but a quarter to a third of their emissions are for exports which we and other western countries consume.

Then we blame them for our ever-increasing consumption.

Consumption-based economics is based on the concept–if you eat it–you get credited with the calories, the fat, and the greenhouse gas emissions.

Common sense, eh?

How could Hawaii achieve fake carbon neutrality by 2045?

Use production, not consumption numbers. Rely on out-dated analysis errors if they are favorable like biomass-based electricity is always carbon neutral. Exclude the emissions of 10,000,000 tourists flying to Hawaii. Omit trans-oceanic travel. Omit emissions from fracked imported fuels. Omit. Omit. Omit.

Zero!

Thoughts on this or any other story? Write a Letter to the Editor. Send to news@civilbeat.org and put Letter in the subject line. 200 words max. You need to use your name and city and include a contact phone for verification purposes. And you can still comment on stories on our Facebook page.

Community Voices aims to encourage broad discussion on many topics of community interest. It’s kind of a cross between Letters to the Editor and op-eds. This is your space to talk about important issues or interesting people who are making a difference in our world. Column lengths should be no more than 800 words and we need a photo of the author and a bio. We welcome video commentary and other multimedia formats. Send to news@civilbeat.org. The opinions and information expressed in Community Voices are solely those of the authors and not Civil Beat.

A note to our readers

While asking for your support is something we don’t like to do, the simple fact is that our reporters, our journalism, and our impact rely on it. Since lifting our paywall and becoming a nonprofit in mid-2016, our local newsroom has benefitted from a stream of charitable support from people who want our type of journalism to survive. People like you who understand that our work is essential to a better-informed community. If you value the work of our journalists, show us with your tax-deductible support.

About the Author