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 ...