Door: Sam Lavigne and Tega Brain.

Offset is an ongoing artistic research project examining the quantification and financialization of the carbon cycle.

Carbon offsets in their current form, applies the logic of capitalism to our atmospheric interactions. This logic assumes that all activities on Earth can be quantified and abstracted (by means of a price) and therefore exchanged. Based on this reasoning, carbon offsets operate off the presumption that it is possible to export or outsource the effects of one’s decisions—whether at the scale of the individual, the community, or the nation state—to someone or someplace else, or even to future generations. In this way, existing carbon-offset markets act to maintain a status quo rather than address root causes of the climate catastrophe.

What would an alternative offset market that focuses on social exchanges and political actions that contribute to a program of radical change look like?

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“This methodology aims to quantify the carbon benefits of industrial sabotage and other direct actions in order to award them the carbon credits they are due, in the same way that other positive climate actions are rewarded. This is the goal of the Industrial Sabotage Methodology, which adopts existing approaches for calculating offsets from temporary carbon storage.

Direct climate actions that shut down or blockade fossil fuel projects are becoming increasingly common, and result in delaying or avoiding emissions for the period of the shut down. Actions that produce removals are less common but include guerilla gardening, tree planting, or preventing the destruction of existing carbon removal environments like wetlands and forests.”