CO2 offsetting has always seemed like a flaky solution.
Carbon offset calculations are incredibly complex, the customer cannot hope to truly understand them. This makes it possible for (unethical) carbon offset companies to take money with the promise of reducing CO2 emissions, while doing little to actually offset the CO2 emissions. The Customer would have no way of knowing that his money was not reducing C02 emissions.
When companies like Climate Care and the Carbon Neutral Company sell the public carbon offsets, carbon savings expected to be made in the future are counted as savings made in the present. This is the same technique used by Enron to inflate its profits with such disastrous consequences.
Of course offsetting can be used for other things…
When you cheat on your partner you add to the heartbreak, pain and jealousy in the atmosphere.
Cheatneutral offsets your cheating by funding someone else to be faithful and NOT cheat. This neutralises the pain and unhappy emotion and leaves you with a clear conscience.
Suddenly offsetting doesn’t sound like such a good idea…