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Caveat Emptor and Snake Oil | The Carbon-Offset Biz

Posted By G Living Staff Monkies On January 25, 2008 @ 4:13 pm In Green Report / Media | No Comments

Can money buy happiness? The most recent research shows that below a certain income, people are definitely less happy, and that beyond that level, happiness doesn’t really increase. The question today is now shifting to whether we can actually buy our way out of global warming. To me the question is hilarious. Has world capitalism come so far that we actually believe we can buy anything, including “carbon offsets”?

One word for those who think they can: indulgences. And who will be the next Martin Luther, nailing his theses to the door of society’s power-house? I’ll gladly take my turn outlining the gluttonous, unrealistic and self-destructing attitudes of the existing corporate culture that dominates our lives.

For all my ranting, however, the carbon-offset business is more than just snake oil. There are some reputable companies that are doing the work to get CO2 out of the atmosphere and find alternatives to dinosaur oil. And fortunately, the feds are looking into whether these companies are delivering on their promises. But the whole idea still stinks of scamming people and companies into believing that they can actually negate their effects.

Here’s an idea. Reduce your own emissions and donate some time (or money) to an organization that is cleaning up the environment. Let’s also not become so complacent to think that any amount of money can buy us out of the impending crisis.

Caveat Emptor, let the buyer beware.

Here’s a carbon offset guide in pdf format.

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