TerraPass project comments: an update

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Our new comment page.

When we launched our comment period we weren’t sure how the community would react. After a week, we’re pleasantly surprised with the volume and quality of the comments.

First, we want to thank all of you that wrote in. You should have received a personal email, and we’ll be gathering and responding to your feedback, questions, and comments. We got a good mix of pats on the back (thanks!) and thoughtful inquiries which we look forward to addressing. The majority of comments came from TerraPass members, and we’re excited that as a community we can work together to make sure the projects we support are the highest quality possible. If you’ve been meaning to comment and haven’t had a chance yet, don’t worry: comments on the first projects are open for another three weeks.

Second, we’re adding more projects! With the growth we are seeing, we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us to make sure plenty of projects make their way through the process. To that end, we’ve added two new farm power projects. They are sister projects to Scenic View I, coming online this spring. With these additions, we’ll be supporting three of the five total farm power projects in Michigan.

We’re also excited that the two new projects will be validated under the new Voluntary Carbon Standard, our favorite quality standard for offset projects. But first we need feedback from you, so please dig into the Project Information Reports and comment away.

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  1. Jim Gates - February 14, 2008

    Part of what I don’t understand from the global warming experts is that many of them are saying it is caused by ever increasing CO2 emissions. If CO2 emissions are causing the climate change then it makes sense to me that the CO2 is also displacing O2. If so; wouldn’t it make sense to plant trees or save mature forests in the US? Only trees convert, in large quantities, CO2 to O2. Nothing else does; as much as trees. Why not plant more trees or save mature forest from harvest and timber mills? If you don

  2. Adam Stein - February 14, 2008

    Hi Jim,
    Thanks for your question. We wrote at length about the trouble with tree-planting offsets here.
    We discussed the misconception that carbon sequestration is somehow different from avoided emissions here.
    Tropical deforestation is indeed a huge contributor to global warming, desperately in need of good policy solutions. But TerraPass will only purchase offsets that we feel are credible.

  3. Bob - February 20, 2008

    In response to Jim, It is not only trees that produce 02. Phytoplankton in the sea may produce more oxygen than trees. Another good reason to also protect the ocean. I would say an intact environment would be a nice gift for our children. Thanks terra pass for your share of good work.

  4. Optional - February 20, 2008

    Governmental action on emissions reductions could be very helpfull. Incentives and outright grants for industries to develop hydrogen filling stations and production will help commuters change over to hydrogen burning cars.
    If the fossil fuels we use were burned in central facilities that simply changed the energy in the fossil fuels to hydrogen, like a form of energy storage, the efficiency could go from 3% [in cars] to over 50%. The hydrogen would then be used in vehicles and produce no carbon emissions, and the central facilities’ carbon could be scrubbed out too, or sequestered.
    Public transit should be using electric or hydrogen fuels by now!! Governments could help with this transition.
    Heavy transport could be much more efficient – the big ships with sails is one idea. Hydrogen or electric power should be used in transport trucks.
    And – solar panels and wind turbines EVERYWHERE
    – lets get started setting them up. Clean electricity could be a reality!!

  5. Adam Stein - February 20, 2008

    Hi Craig,
    Those things you’re doing are great! Some answers to your questions:
    Why can

  6. Craig Hunter - February 20, 2008

    Adam, I thank you for your comments. Every little bit we all do can count. I wasn’t meaning to pick on Terra Pass in particular. I found that most all carbon trading sites lack a broad enough calculator allowing green users to “weigh in” so to speak. However, on another topic, including renewable energy powered vehicles (solar charged electric or captured methane powered vehicles)in the chain with hybrids is way off. Hybrids address one thing only, better TOTAL fuel economy, not emissions. In fact, hybrids running on the freeway (speeds over 50 MPH) produce as much carbon as their non-hybrid brothers. This is why tax rebates as well as HOV stickers for these vehicles are either being reduced or withdrawn completely. While its true my vehicles (running on natural gas)are existing technology and do have a carbon footprint, they’re significantly cleaner than a hybrid, (One reason they don’t make gasoline powered ranges)but definably not as good as a solar powered electric vehicle.In my view, natural gas vehicles should be the bridge technology towards self-sufficiency and cleaner air, because the development of both hydrogen (of which 80% comes from reformated cng) and carbon free electric vehicles are going to be 25 years short of the point of no return for our planet. We need to be using and spending real cash on the technology we have now. Not pie in the sky.

  7. Adam Stein - February 20, 2008

    Heh. We seem to agree on principles but end up in opposite places. My view has always been that hydrogen is pie-in-the-sky, and that a thriving market in hybrids will lead to advances in battery technology that will eventually get us to the promised land.
    But, hey, this is one of those questions that truly the market will sort out. Should be fun to watch. Personally, I hope never to own a vehicle that gets less then 100 mpg-equivalent. (I’m doing well so far with my bicycle.)

  8. Craig Hunter - February 20, 2008

    LOL
    Adam,
    Actually I do agree with you on hydrogen, but we can thank our current vice-president and this administration’s energy policies for that blunder. Methane capture (a Terra Pass product)is far more carbon neutral and a fuel existing engine technology can use right now. In fact if I were to offset my current fossil CNG with Scenic View Dairy CNG our family could almost be carbon neutral. Ultimately Adam, electric vehicles would be the answer, but to be carbon neutral they would have to rely on the yet undeveloped fuel cell/battery technology thats non-polluting and an ever ready supply of renewable energies. Hey, I have an idea, lets design a vehicle that runs on carbon and exhausts only hot air.

  9. Karlin Klavin - March 26, 2008

    TerraPass projects are some of the things that can be done to combat global warming – good job!!
    There are many other good projects and ideas, and of course no one organization can tackle them all.
    One of my favorite solutions is to be driving electric vehicles. They ARE workable, there are some mechanics converting regular cars to electric right now, and several small companies are producing new ones.
    The governments of USA and Canada are actually RESISTING any move to electric cars!! The reason must be that “the oil not yet burned” is worth $100s of Trillions of dollars, and the energy companies and car makers and governments are all sharing in that huge pie. Conspiracy? – yes; nutty? – no.
    Average people could reduce their costs of driving by 80% with electric cars!! The power has to come from somewhere of course, and if car owners spent the money for solar panels, they would basically be driving for FREE with ZERO emissions. The total cost for a car conversion and solar panels is about $20,000, the same as most new cars.
    Please consider converting your vehicle to electric and setting up solar panels on your home to power it.
    Link: http://www.canev.com/