Monday, January 14, 2008

Offsets, I got yer offsets right here

Carbon offsets: FTC Carbon Offset Investigation Previews Cap and Trade’s Imminent Failure.

Al Gore gets his carbon credits here. He owns the company. You or I would have to shop for ours. But why bother, when we can get all the free offsets we want.

Offsets for cheaters.

Horse offsets.

Business Week [bold is mine]:

A growing number of organizations, corporations, cities, and individuals are seeking to protect the climate—or at least claim bragging rights for protecting the climate. Rather than take the arduous step of significantly cutting their own emissions of carbon dioxide, many in the ranks of the environmentally concerned are paying to have someone else curtail air pollution or develop "renewable" energy sources (see, 2/1/07, "Ethanol: Too Much Hype—and Corn "). Carbon offsets, as the most common variety of these deals is known, have become one of the most widely promoted products marketed to checkbook environmentalists.

Done carefully, offsets can have a positive effect and raise ecological awareness. But a close look at several transactions—including those involving the Oscar presenters, Vail Resorts, and the Seattle power company—reveals that some deals amount to little more than feel-good hype. When traced to their source, these dubious offsets often encourage climate protection that would have happened regardless of the buying and selling of paper certificates. One danger of largely symbolic deals is that they may divert attention and resources from more expensive and effective measures.
Remember the Pet Rock™? Some people will buy anything.

Thanks to Glenn Reynolds.

Update: More on this from Morgan Freeberg at the House of Eratosthenes. Do read the comments!

Another update: Michelle Malkin has the story on offsets for the jet-set environmentalists at Davos: Enviro-nitwits fly to Davos, seek absolution from Al Gore.

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