Carbon offsets are super-buzzy these days as green gets less gross and more (I just can't say groovy, I'm sorry) hot. Everybody's doing it (well, those who can afford it) -- paying to have the carbon they produce, often via air travel, offset by something that reduces carbon by an equal amount. In more concrete terms, the money goes to purchase windmills or plant trees... To me, it sounds a little bit green, and a little bit like throwing money at a problem to assuage your guilt. Stanford research fellow and author Peter Schweizer wondered, why stop at carbon? Pollution's a big problem, but it's not the only thing we do wrong. Me, I'm a speeder. That's bad. So according to Schweizer, to offset my sins maybe I should be giving money to schools to help pay for crossing guards or to communities for speed bumps or cameras. I'm also a pretty serious sugar-addict... but I think my dentist is more than compensated for that. What do you need to offset, and how would you do it?
September 27, 2007