Thursday, March 01, 2007

Carbon Offsets

So, you're a fantastically wealthy liberal, you've got four lavish mansions scattered across the country, and a beautiful, shiny private jet to get around between them without having to wait in line and get on an airliner with all the riff-raff.

Being a liberal, you're awfully concerned about this phenomenon known as Global Warming, and resolve to use your shiny private jet to go to speaking engagements around the country, warning the unwashed masses about the coming crisis, imploring that we all cut our energy consumption.
Unfortunately, just one of your mansions uses about twenty times the energy of a typical American household, and that jet you love so dearly will use more fuel in one cross-country trip than Joe Blow's car will all year.

Now, you don't want to get rid of all your pretty things, but you do feel just a teensy bit guilty about your consumption, especially given the subject of your latest crusade. You can assuage most of those twinges of conscience by reassuring yourself that the important "work" you do telling the proles about energy waste justifies that private jet and those monster mansions, but you still can't quite meet your own eyes in the mirror. So, what to do?

Solar panels on the roof of the house? Please! Those black monstrosities look positively ghastly!
Compromise and fly first class? Uh, no thanks. That's just a little too plebeian. You might actually rub shoulders with some of those unwashed oiks in baggage claim. Ewww.

Wait! There's the solution! Carbon Offsets! Just throw a chunk of money that way and you can proudly announce that you're truly living a carbon-neutral lifestyle! Wow! You really are practicing what you preach!

What are Carbon Offsets, you ask? Well, they're a way to offset your energy consumption. One example would be for every x gallons of jet fuel you burn, you send enough money to Hippie Joe's Green Conservancy to plant y number of trees. See? Easy! It just takes money, and all that guilt is just washed away.

Except it's just so much crap. If you truly care that much about the environment, why wouldn't you conserve in your own life as well as pay to plant more trees, or pursue alternative energy sources? You're still pulling the same load off the electrical grid, but it's OK now because you paid some joker to plant a few trees in Costa Rica? Please.

By adding this price tag, "egalitarian" liberals would just make it harder for your average joe to get that larger, nicer house. This is what truly disgusts me about the left. I don't begrudge them their nice things, it's their money and I'd do the same if I had that scratch, but the sheer NERVE they have to turn around and scold us because we don't have a Prius yet just turns my stomach.

"It's alright for me, buddy, but not for you" is truly the motto of the American Left.


Julie said...

Wow...I didn't see this one coming! But I couldn't agree more; if EVERYONE conserved then we would ideally be better off. But that would require me to get rid of my 84' Honda Accord...and I just can't do that. Especially not for a large monthly Prius payment

Kevin said...

But, but... its for the planet!:) Yeah, hypocrisy on this scale just blows my mind. Al Gore has no business scolding the rest of us about energy consumption. At least Ed Begley walks the walk, even if he is an environemntal lunatic.

DirtCrashr said...

It's the same pattern of political self-enfranchisement that the Soviets used for ages: put the burden on the worker, and go off to your dacha and party! The American left has the same appetites for good things and fine wines as any other Stalinist elitist, and it's evident here in deep-"blue" Silicon Valley and the surrounding hills. They keep the riff-raff out by voting for higher taxes that don't affect them and creating Green-belt landscape use committees and other enviro-thuggish groups that discourage any further enroachment on their expensive and expansive hillside properties.

Kevin said...

Couldn't agree more, sir. What confounds me is that so many people get taken in by their "sincerity".

DirtCrashr said...

I believe they get taken-in because for a large segement her it's how you establish your bona-fides as an eco-warrior. That's something I saw in college at UC Santa Cruz. Absent danger and heroics or participation in a real war, the "class-war" becomes a point of struggle in which youthful agression can be channeled and heros anointed. It's a way to impress chicks.