Carbon Offsets: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Published 2022-08-21

All Comments (21)
  • TheRealSullyG
    Proud to say I am officially carbon neutral thanks to Oliver Offsets!
  • Arjit Jere
    As an ecologist, well done John for explaining that it is very hard to achieve zero emissions. Also it matters whether the trees planted belong to that area are exotic or native. That pine tree in africa was a weird decision,pines are NOT found in africa.Planting exotic trees which invade native trees will only damage the land. Offsets are just a short cut, the solution should start with phasing out fossil fuels!
  • Joe Gambone
    The extent these big corporations go through just to not do anything is insane. We are all doomed.
  • melody13
    I was hanging out with my pet rabbit when I decided to watch this on my phone. The moment John started talking, my rabbit hopped over and started watching the video intently. I’m not sure whether it was the subject content or hearing John Oliver’s voice but she was completely engrossed in it for the entire 23 minutes. So John, you clearly have a new fan. She will be tuning in with me every Sunday from now on.
  • KCthonian
    I remember learning about how at one point the catholic church sold vouchers for prayers to people, so that they could effectively "pay away" their sins and guilt to get into heaven. The simlilarities to our modern carbon offsets is eerily similar, imo.
  • TSS
    On behalf of Ireland, I'd like to thank John and everyone who donates for saving our whales and dolphins, we were unsure if they'd have enough trees to live in throughout the winter.
  • dudeitel
    I wish he had talked about how a lot of tree planting initiatives aren't done with proper biodiversity conservation objectives in mind, which can lead to monocultures or invasive species that harm ecosystems, and other issues. Also, when these trees are planted, there are usually no management measures for who looks after those trees, and a lot of those trees can just end up dying anyway. Even if it's done right, **tree planting cannot replace older forests***; older forests have SIGNIFICANTLY more value for carbon storage due to their complex structures and large trees—the potential to mitigate carbon emissions increases by at least 600% by preserving intact forests and avoiding associated forest degradation practices. So it's *MUCH more valuable to preserve forests than to plant new trees. It's not a one-for-one trade because it would take at least a hundred years for new forests to develop properly, and we don't have that kind of time to wait. I work in this field so it's something I hope more people can understand!

    I suggest anyone who is interested in this topic to check out these open-access scientific papers on it:
    Maxwell, S. L., Evans, T., Watson, J. E. M., Morel, A., Grantham, H., Duncan, A., … Malhi, Y. (2019). Degradation and forgone removals increase the carbon impact of intact forest loss by 626%. Science Advances, 5(10), eaax2546. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aax2546

    Di Sacco, A., Hardwick, K. A., Blakesley, D., Brancalion, P. H. S., Breman, E., Cecilio Rebola, L., … Antonelli, A. (2021). Ten golden rules for reforestation to optimize carbon sequestration, biodiversity recovery and livelihood benefits. Global Change Biology, 27(7), 1328–1348. doi: 10.1111/gcb.15498
  • jtcivilwar1861
    Was never expecting to hear John Oliver mention Hawk Mountain. It's a gorgeous hike spot, especially in the fall. There have been petitions to get public transit to run there to cut down on the number of people driving cars there. Hopefully it'll eventually go through
  • Subtropical
    I'm so glad he did an episode on this! He is absolutely hitting the nail on the head! Another thing to note is the obvious fact that trees take time to grow!!!! Many species of trees aren't fully grown after a decade!! And in the early stages, they require maintenance!!! And planting baby forests will OBVIOUSLY not immediately sequester the same amount of carbon as a forest full of mature trees!!!!! time to face up - YES you actually need to STOP polluting!!!!
  • Olivier B.
    By god this segment is good. So well written. So impactful. Congrats to the whole writing staff.
  • milk grapes
    Finally, Wendover Productions is in Last Week Tonight. Awesome
  • Andrew Torrance
    Seeing John Oliver quoting research done by Wendover Productions is amazing. This what new media landscape has become and it’s sweet.
  • TokranInami
    saying that "not chopping down a tree" offsets carbon emissions is like saying "not burning down your house" is investment in real estate
  • Genis Z
    Lastweektonight is the most informative of all night shows. Hands up to Oliver and his team!
  • Abbas A. Idris
    Thanks, John Oliver, for entertaining and informing us at the same time! Keep up the great work! You truly deserve every Emmy that you have won and will win!
  • Neco
    Honestly, this whole offsetting system always sounded even worse to me if the customer got to pay for it.
    Oh yeah? You ALLOW ME to pay so YOU can handle YOUR waste? Great. Thanks a lot. Next time I am eating out, I am gonna ask the restaurant if they want me to pay them 2€, so I get to take one bag full of their trash with me.
  • H0L0B33
    I did a literal spit take, for the first time of my life, at the "he only does that to people with severe illnesses" part.
  • Samantha Myers
    "that violently British man did a pretty good job of explaining the concept" can also sum up his whole show
  • Murloc Master
    That unfaithful wife bit was golden. That burn was beyond what was needed to start a fire