Monday, March 05, 2007

Hey, Where's My Offset?

[Update: I failed to mention the excellent piece at Spinning Cleo which takes a whack at the Gorecaster, as well.]

Al Gore wants us to purchase "carbon offsets", credits to allow us to continue to give plants too much CO2. It's a little known inconvenient truth that plants hate CO2, because it makes it so easy for them to grow. After all, if they grow they will simply be eaten by some cud-chewing fertilizer and methane factory destined to be in turn eaten by humans. It isn't right to encourage false hope in plants.

As Jeff Goldstein points out, it would be far better to purchase these carbon offsets, and thereby help the downtrodden poor of the world, such as Mr. Gore, than to raise the hopes of a bunch of plants.

But all of this talk of offsets has me wondering: there must be offsets I can buy for my other notorious planet-destroying and plant-teasing activities. Being flush with both cash and guilt, surely I can purchase some sort of indulgence. With my four-figure income and miserly, tight-fisted lifestyle, the old mattress is getting kind of full. Instead of burying yet another one and hiding the map in my freezer, I should find something more constructive to do with it. Greater good, save the planet, yada yada.

So I think I'll start with a list:

  • A beer offset

    Rather than burdening the planet by using too much beer, I should be able to purchase pretzel or peanut offsets. That way I wouldn't have to necessarily match my own beer and legume consumption, but could partner with my fellow man to save the planet.

  • A coffee offset

    Since my coffee intake is single-handedly* destroying the planet by forcing coffee bean monoculture in the Andes, I can purchase coffee offsets in the form of coca plant futures. I will make certain South American businessmen really happy. The diversity in agriculture will benefit the planet greatly, by raising diversity. For the planet.
    (* "Single-handed" is just an expression. My coffee IV goes in my wrist, usually.)

  • A Red Meat offset

    Since most of the evil carbon burdening the world's plants comes directly from plant-destroying herd animals, my daily cow intake really has to drop. Addicted as I am to my wife's baby-back ribs*, I think it would be better if I purchased whale offsets from Iceland and Japan.
    (* No, these aren't my wife's actual ribs. These are beef and pork ribs, prepared by her. Calling them hers is just an expression.)

  • A carb offset

    I never got into the low-carb diet craze -- is that still going? But clearly I should be able to purchase credits for all the carbs I consume, so that I can avoid eating beans, cabbage, onions, broccoli and asparagas. I don't want to contribute any more to the greenhouse gas problem than I have to.

  • A Trans-fat offset

    The amount of processed lard now formed into a crusty anulus lining my aorta is a global threat. At least, the world as I know it is threatened. Perhaps if I purhase enough bran and aspirin offsets, I can continue to subsist as I always have, on fried starch, undercooked red meat, beer, and coffee.

  • A work offset

    I think I work too much, and make way too much money. Curse you, George Bush, for this economy that gives me this burden of guilt! If only I could partner with someone, and pay them to offset my excess work. I guess it could be called "Welfare".

  • An offset offset

    With all of these offsets I'm snapping up, there will be a shortage of offsets somewhere. That isn't right. It isn't fair. Since I'm all about saving the planet and everthing, I should be able to sell offset offsets to the poor and downtrodden who have no offsets. If they could not afford them, perhaps the government could help. I'd hate for the poor and downtrodden not to be able to afford my offsets simply because of finances.
Yes, I think this offset thing is just what I need. And wow, the guilt is flowing right out of me, just by raising consciousness to power about it. So this is what liberals feel like.

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