Carbon-neutral madness - Page 2

The trouble with carbon offsets
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Israel said the Sierra Club does not openly oppose the practice, but he is worried that offsets could become "a distraction for people.... It's really the last thing you should do, not the first. First you should conserve and become more efficient, then you can see about offsetting what's left."

For Arnold, TerraPass's phenomenal success is not about exploiting guilt or bad behavior. Instead, he reasoned, it simply shows that people want to do all they can to make a difference. "Most of our users are already green," he said. "But we want to reach the people who are just now waking up to enormity of the problem too.... What our customers are saying is very American: 'Let's not wait for someone else to do it, let's get something done ourselves.' " *

Comments, ideas, and submissions for Green City, the Guardian's weekly environmental column, can be sent to news@sfbg.com.

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