Outside/In: Are Carbon Offsets Worth It? | New Hampshire Public Radio

Outside/In: Are Carbon Offsets Worth It?

Nov 21, 2020

What if, instead of lowering emissions, a large company could pay someone else to do it instead? That's the basic idea behind carbon offsets: a market-based approach to buying and selling reductions in atmospheric carbon dioxide. In this episode, Sam talks our producers through the scientific hoops required to verify one type of popular carbon offset (planting or conserving trees) to better understand whether offsets are a solid piece of the climate puzzle - or sort of a scam. 

Plus, we remember a singular feline: Marty, the Mount Washington mouser. 

The Forest For the Carbon

Sam Evans-Brown

A carbon offset is a simple premise: if you take a cross-country flight and are responsible for a half ton of carbon emissions, you can spend a few dollars to fund the growth of a half ton worth of carbon in the form of a forest. A fossil fuel company can do the same: buy offsets to write off emissions and call it green. But is this just another form of greenwashing?  Do carbon offsets bring us closer to carbon-neutrality?

Featuring Kaarsten Turner Dalby, Heather Furman, Charlie Stabolepszy, Barbara Haya, Jim Shallow, and Adeniyi Asiyanbi.

In Remembrance of Marty the Cat

Taylor Quimby

Celebrity is a strange thing in New Hampshire. We’ve got the three comedians: Adam Sandler, Sarah Silverman, and Seth Myers. A few writers like Salinger, John Irving, Jodi Picoult, and Dan Brown.

Marty the Cat, courtesy of the Mount Washington Observatory

But a lot of the state’s most famous characters have been wilder, more rugged: there was Mink the bear, the Wolf Man of Clark’s Trading Post, and the Old Man of the Mountain. This month, another famous icon passed from the Granite State and into the realm of memory: Marty, the Mount Washington mouser. 

Featuring Ryan Knapp. More photos of Marty can be found here

Ask Sam: Why Do Hummingbirds Fight?

Sam Evans-Brown

We listen back to a fall favorite edition of our Ask Sam segment, and learn about the fighting, sleeping, and nesting habits of ruby-throated hummingbirds. 

Featuring Anusha Shankar.