Friday, June 01, 2007

Offputting Offsets

If someone wishes to donate money to plant trees or support alternative fuel research or to fund any other kind of cause that contributes to a healthier environment, that is a good thing. However, one tires of the moral grandstanding surrounding so-called "carbon offsets."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has flown to Europe on a "climate change fact finding" mission. As one who often wishes that politicians would make some effort to find some facts to support things they wish to legislate, I think that is fine and good. However, she has also paraded her spokesman out to make sure the world knows that she is "offsetting" her carbon usage by donating money to the Pacific Forest Trust.

It does not seem to occur to anyone that a person can cancel a trip and give money just because they think it is a good cause. Cancel the trip and donate the money. Do the fact finding via internet and webconference. Then the environment benefits even more.

In all seriousness, no one should begrudge Ms. Pelosi the trip to Europe. However, the claim to be doing something that is praiseworthy through this abominable offsetting concept is morally galling.

The Oracle previously expressed additional thoughts on this topic here.

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