I just calculated how much I’ll drive to cover the Prologue and Stages 1 through 3 of the Amgen Tour of California. I’ll drive nearly 600 miles, generating about 500 pounds of CO2 Saturday through next Tuesday. For me, that’s two to three months worth of ‘normal’ driving.
This is “only” about $5 worth of carbon offsets to purchase, but a large racing event like the Tour of California undeniably generates tons of carbon dioxide. In 2006, Clif Bar donated enough to offset the entire carbon impact of the Tour that year. Locally, in Santa Cruz, Ecology Action is raffling off a Giant road bike and other prizes, with part of the proceeds used to offset the Santa Cruz portion of the bike race.
I’m a little bit critical of the idea of carbon offsets — I’m not convinced of the effectiveness of offsets, and I think they give many of us (including myself) an easy way out. The harder but possibly better choice might be for me to avoid the Tour of California altogether, or perhaps follow it on the Internet like other people will.
What do you think?