CRUDE AWAKENINGS: 13. Using the green cloak of “certification”

It’s an alluring offer:  Plant trees in Panama. Create carbon offsets to help the environment.  Then cut the trees and make lots of money.

This is the pitch of SilvaTree.com, a green soaked website adorned with flourishing trees and children blowing dandelions.  Buy 660 trees in Panama for $32, 500.00, the company promises, and you will get back at least $145,000.00 – a “guaranteed return” of 15% each year for two decades. This is a “certified carbon offset project,” the company’s online promotion assures.

Except that it is not. Despite sales claims, the company says it’s only in the process off applying for certification. Using carbon offset certification and climate change as part of marketing and public relations aimed at investors hints at a larger problem in a burgeoning market with little oversight. And it concerns those in the industry who worry that inaccuracies at best, or fraud at worst could blemish the reputation of the entire industry.  In the voluntary market,there is no monitoring; they are monitoring themselves.

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About bettybyrd

Betty Byrd is an editor, author, and actress. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in creative writing, and furthered her literary career through graduate studies at Ohio State University. She was an editor for The Spectator, Ohio’s largest weekly newspaper, and has free – lanced for a national men’s magazine. Betty has appeared in film and television, as well as numerous commercials and mini-series. She is a voting member of the American Federation of Television Artists and also of the Screen Actors Guild. In 2002-2003 Betty was accepted into the Who’s Who of America and in 2007-2008, the Who’s Who of American Women. Her previous literary works include a novel, Trinity’s Daughter, for which she was honored as a local author by the San Diego Public Library. She is also a recipient of a first place fiction writing award for her new novel, Utopia, Texas at the prestigious Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference. Betty has had successful book-signings across the country to large crowds at local Barnes and Nobles and other bookstores. She has been featured in newspapers, and appeared on NBC – TV, and radio talk shows. Betty currently lives in Southern California with her husband and family.
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