Should agriculture count as a carbon offset?
"If a cow burps, how do you measure it?" (best NYT subhead ever): Debate over whether to include agriculture in the Waxman-Markey climate legislation is heating up between supporters of agricultural offsets, which fund projects like methane capture systems over CAFO animal-waste lagoons, and those who say current agricultural practices are the problem, not the solution. This evenhanded, must-read article mentions that the Government Accountability Office, a congressional watchdog, "ranked forestation and 'agriculture soil carbon' near the bottom of a list of 'very credible projects'" and the Environmental Defense Fund's list of high-quality potential projects did not include any agriculture or forestry efforts, except those involving methane capture. Something else we didn't know: "For an offset to truly be an offset, it needs to be a new project that would not have occurred without offset funding," and it also needs to be something that the rest of the world can implement. (New York Times)
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