Carbon offset = cheat offset?


I have often complained that carbon offset credits just don’t make sense.  I don’t think that they will do anything to create better behavior and think it is simply a shell game that will only end up lining someone’s pockets.

But I appear to be in the minority in this view.  So I ask those that disagree with me isn’t what is good for the goose good for the gander as well?  I just found this website:


What is Cheat Offsetting?

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.

This site says that it is satirical, which is good.  But, shouldn’t it be real? If one believes that you can cheat on emissions with offsets, surely you can do the same with sex.

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8 thoughts on “Carbon offset = cheat offset?”

  1. tim maguire says:

    Seems problematic. If I buy a cheat offset, can the guy who sold it to me sleep with my wife? Who does he need to be faithful to?

    My problem with carbon offsets is that if we are facing catastrophic global warming and our CO2 production level needs to be reduced by some crazy amount to save life as we know it on this planet, then isn’t it counter productive to create a “indulgences” system whereby some people can, with a clear conscience, continue to dump excessive amounts of carbon into the environment? Is it really useful to pay third world nations to remain mired in poverty and third world life-styles?

    Same with the cheating offset–they MAY serve some functon in reducing the growth of undesirable behaviors, but they don’t seem to contribute in any maeaningful way to the reduction of the harmful behaviors.

    Unless Al Gore can make money from it. Then it’s ok.

  2. admin says:

    Tim – I completely agree with you. Carbon offsets do not seem to be a solution to any problem that may be occurring except for the lack of money in someone’s pockets. In my opinion, carbon trading only works if you limit the market to like industries e.g. utilities can only trade with utilities, automotive companies could only trade with automotive companies, chemical plants could only trade with chemical plants, etc. At least in that way, there would be much more incentive to catch up and reduce the expenses you are giving to your competitor.

  3. tim maguire says:

    That’s a twist that may make it workable. Requiring power companies to buy their offsets from other power companies would give the lower-producing company an advantage, thereby creating an incentive to reduce carbon output to either reduce the number of credits needed for purchase or increase the number available for sale. But the initial rationing of carbon credits will almost certainly be frought with corruption and manipulation.

  4. admin says:

    Also, any twist that makes sense is almost surely not going to survive Congress!!

  5. Nick says:

    Carbon offsets are a joke.

    CO2 isn’t the claimed problem, it is temperature increases that are the problem.

    That’s why the alarmists don’t want to address temperature directly, but indirectly.

    They know that the link between CO2 and temperature is tenuous, but they know that CO2 will carry on rising, so they make the tax on CO2, not a direct tax on the problem.

    The second main issue, is where are the tax refunds when the temperatures don’t rise in line with forecasts.

    The latest scare stories of 0.6C per decade are just fairy stories, not born out at all by any evidence.


  6. Wind Power is very popular around here. There are several large wind farms within 15 miles and several home owners that produce their own wind power. Thanks for writing about carbon offsets.

  7. Jamie says:

    It think itís been generally accepted that planting trees as carbon offsets is naÔve sadly. A nice idea, but a little behind the times.

    I really think that carbon offsetting can make a difference. I only offset using high quality CER-based carbon offsets from companies such as essentially allow private individuals to invest in green technologies that wouldn’t necessarily make commercial sense otherwise.

    If the powers that can’t build a biomass plant or hydro dam as it’s too expensive, then have a guess what they’re going to build instead – yup, yet more coal / oil / gas fired power stations.

    Carbon Offsetting is not a bad thing, in fact it can be very positive – it’s just been done in the past by the wrong methods (planting trees and treadle pumps), by the wrong people (those looking to make a quick buck). Open your eyes and take another look….

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