The Carbon Offsets Racket: Buying Forgiveness
The "21st century's answer to the 16th-century practice of selling indulgences for sins"...
The carbon-offset business is not actually about mitigating the effects of greenhouse gas emissions and the global warming they allegedly cause. It's about psychological massages. It allows willing dupes and those who've been driven to guilt by the environmental lobby a chance to redeem themselves.
Then there are the trendy Americans. For them, the offsets provide a reason to celebrate their moral superiority because they can think that they're canceling the carbon footprint they've left by driving SUVs and large luxury cars, living in energy-swilling homes and jetting around the world.
For business, its about acquiring an "environmental halo," if we may borrow a fitting phrase from a New York Times story covering the FTC's examination of the carbon-offset trade.