Indulgences for the Rich and Famous?

In an appendix titled “What You Can Do” found in their latest book — This Moment on Earth — Senator John Kerry and wife Theresa Heinz Kerry call on their readers to make sacrifices that will reduce mankind’s “environmental footprint.”  Like Al Gore, however, they take a pass.  After all, the rich can afford to buy what amounts to indulgences: “Those of us in politics, traveling at times in motorcades, flying on private planes on occasion, you name it…now buy carbon offsets by making a donation to an organization that specializes in carbon neutrality,” they explain.

The idea that somehow the lifestyles of the rich and famous can buy their morality is really absurd. In fact, the entire concept of offsetting one’s personal moral precepts is offensive, especially when those people taking the offsets want to regulate away other people’s freedoms. An article in yesterday’s USA Today by Peter Schweizer, helps put the Kerry-Gore “logic” in perspective:

Why not expand offsets to erase our other sins? After all, why should environmentalists have all the fun?…People who are caught in compromising positions could purchase an offset from a pro-marriage organization such as Focus on the Family. By buying the Adultery Offset, the guilty party would counterbalance their adultery footprint with a monogamous couple trained by this organization. Like the carbon-emitter absolved of carbon sin, this would allow an individual to be declared “adultery neutral” instantly. As with carbon offsets, the guilty parties would not actually have to stop engaging in adultery; he or she would simply need to write a check after every occurrence. Two enterprising Britons have even set up a satirical website called demonstrating how this could be done.