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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Trend: Pollution Penance

Paying to Pollute
I posted some time ago about a guy trying to persuade Euro nations to use CARBON TRADING CREDITS that represent our individual yearly allotment of carbon emissions, whether it be plane trips, car trips, or reduced expenditures on public transport. Impossible to coordinate and implement nationally, you say?

Well, to people who take the threat of global warming personally, driving a car that spews heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere can be a real guilt trip.

So to help atone for that environmental sin, some drivers are turning to groups on the Internet that offer pain-free ways to assuage their guilt while promoting clean energy.

It involves buying something known as a carbon offset: a relatively inexpensive way to stimulate the production of clean electricity. Just go to one of several carbon-offset Web sites, such as TerraPass and Hinkle Charitable Foundation and calculate the amount of carbon dioxide produced when you drive, fly or otherwise burn fossil fuels, and then buy an offset that pays for an equivalent amount of clean energy.

Say a few Hail Marys and you're forgiven my child.

The money you donate is then given by proxy to organizations such as, which supports renewable energy projects;, which supports solar electrification projects in developing countries, reducing the use of dirty diesel and kerosene for lighting; and the Lomakatsi Restoration Project,, which restores northern forests.

See a recent video report on the phenomenon here at NY Times.

via NY Times Drive Times

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