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Carbon-Neutral Is Hip, but Is It Green?

Global Coolness

Source:  Copyright 2007, New York Times
Date:  April 29, 2007
Byline:  Andrew C. Revkin
Original URL: Status ONLINE


THE rush to go on a carbon diet, even if by proxy, is in overdrive.

In addition to the celebrities — Leo, Brad, George — politicians like John Edwards and Hillary Clinton are now running, at least part of the time, carbon-neutral campaigns. A lengthening list of big businesses — international banks, London’s taxi fleet, luxury airlines — also claim “carbon neutrality.” Silverjet, a plush new trans-Atlantic carrier, bills itself as the first fully carbon-neutral airline. It puts about $28 of each round-trip ticket into a fund for global projects that, in theory, squelch as much carbon dioxide as the airline generates — about 1.2 tons per passenger, the airline says.

Also, a largely unregulated carbon-cutting business has sprung up. In this market, consultants or companies estimate a person’s or company’s output of greenhouse gases. Then, these businesses sell “offsets,” which pay for projects elsewhere that void or sop up an equal ...

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