“Bless me father for I have sinned,” words I first uttered in a confessional too many years ago. Now, however, my sins are more public and extend beyond pinching a quarter from my brother or perhaps using the language of a longshoreman.
I am, in fact, a frequent carbon sinner and an environmental slacker. At the church of global warming I prostrate myself before Pope Al and confess the trespasses against my neighbors. I thought all was lost and that, as the earth warmed, melting the polar ice caps and raising the tides to the foothills of the mighty Appalachian Mountains, I would most certainly burn in an ever-warming hell.
But wait a minute! I can surely wiggle my way out of this sticky situation. In the spirit of the sin-eaters of medieval times and the $300 draft exemptions of the Civil War, I can pay someone to take away my carbon sins. For a low, low price of $396 I can actually offset the carbon sins of my entire family (not sure about the dog or cats). That is correct, I can continue to emit carbon sins and drive my car and use my tractor and snow blower. I can fly on airplanes as much as I want, commercial of course; only rock stars and politicians can use private jets. I can use any light bulb I want. I can continue to have the odd bonfire during the summer. I don’t need to adjust my lifestyle at all as long as I pay someone to offset my sins.
What a great concept. It is a lot like being able to toss your trash along the side of the road as long as you pay someone else to not toss theirs out somewhere else. There are carbon offset exchanges selling redemption for your carbon sins. Who’d have thought that you can make money off your neighbor’s sins, well, carbon sins at least?
4 May 2007
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