Markets are wonderful. If there is a demand, markets will arise to fill it. Including the desire to feel good about oneself. How else should one view the "carbon offset" business? It offers the obvious appeal of "cheap grace." You want to continue sinning but find a way to assuage the twinges of guilt that you feel. So you pay someone who claims to be counteracting your sin. I'm promiscuous, you're a virgin, so it kind of balances out. In today's guilt-ridden world carbon offsets have become big business. Reports the Los Angeles Times:
The Oscar-winning film "An Inconvenient Truth" touted itself as the world's first carbon-neutral documentary. The producers said that every ounce of carbon emitted during production -- from jet travel, electricity for filming and gasoline for cars and trucks -- was counterbalanced by reducing emissions somewhere else in the world. It only made sense that a film about the perils of global warming wouldn't contribute to the problem.You have to appreciate Ms. Tenpas' attitude. I want to buy a jeep, she thinks. But I've been told that doing so will destroy the environment and consign humankind to death and desolation--or at least a slightly warmer winter. If I toss a few bucks at a guilt entrepreneur, however, I can feel good about myself while wrecking the world. To whom do I write the check?? Is this a great country, or what!?