Ken and I love NPR, and are happy to support our public radio station. I usually listen to it on the way home, and today on Talk of the Nation, there was a great interview with Peter Schweizer, a journalist who poked some fun at the concept of carbon offsetting. He wrote an editorial for USA Today about it, and basically, he wonders why should we stop at carbon offsetting? Let's apply it to other problems we have, whether it's adultery or obesity. It's quite funny, and a nifty little piece of satire.
In the interview, he got a little more serious, and said that he feels that carbon offsetting is basically an excuse for continuing our poor behavior, and calls it "outsourcing our moral responsibilities." He went on to say that in some circles (not to mention any place in particular, HOLLYWOOD), it's almost a status symbol to brag about how much you've spent to offset your carbon footprint, while in the meantime your private jet is running and awaiting you on the tarmac. I've felt exactly same way ever since the Oscars, when certain people (not to mention anyone in particular, DICAPRIO) talked about how special that broadcast was because the carbon footprint was offset, blah de blah blah blah. BLEAHHHH! You know what? Most of us don't live in houses that have a kazillion square feet, and most of us have ONE house. How many houses do YOU have, Leo? And I'm sure there weren't too many actors who DIDN'T arrive in a limo that night. The hypocrisy of it all makes me want to puke.
Hey Beth, tell us how you really feel!
Okay, I'll calm down. But honestly, it's ridiculous, and I'm so sick of being preached to by some of the largest and most egregious consumers in America. Spending a bunch of money on carbon offsets does not immediately negate the damage, and may not ever negate it. Think first about your actions, and somehow find the humility to admit that all the money in the world can't make you a better person or a better environmentalist or a better anything. For us mere mortals, our best efforts include changing our behavior and doing what we can to do make a difference, not simply writing a check to assuage our guilt and nullify the bad behavior that we continue to exhibit.
This is pretty funny, too.