8 Nov 2007

Cheat (or Carbon) Neutral?

In another, excellent example of creative markets, Cheat Neutral offers to offset your cheating (on your partner). If you cheat, pay $5 to a faithful couple, and the net amount of cheating in the world is held equal. Great idea.

What is Cheat Offsetting? When you cheat on your partner you add to the heartbreak, pain and jealousy in the atmosphere. Cheatneutral offsets your cheating by funding someone else to be faithful and NOT cheat. This neutralises the pain and unhappy emotion and leaves you with a clear conscience.

Can I offset all my cheating? First you should look at ways of reducing your cheating. Once you've done this you can use Cheatneutral to offset the remaining, unavoidable cheating.

Bottom Line: There are stupid ideas everywhere. Carbon Cheat-neutrality is one of them. Go and cheat without guilt! You can buy your way out of it!


  1. I'm thinking of starting a firm to handle Food Neutrality. If someone consumes more food than they produce, they can pay money to someone who produces more food than they consume, and we would handle coordinating the payments (and transporting the food, perhaps stockpiling it in a central location where people could pick it up when they drop off their payments). Do you think this is workable, or is it too radical?

  2. I think that's what happens when we buy food from farmers :)

  3. Man did I miss that sarcasm. JF got me!

  4. Okay, are you opposed to carbon-neutrality for real? If so, are you opposed to it because it might not actually reduce carbon emissions (depending on the level of the cap) or for some other reason?

  5. In theory carbon neutrality is great. In practice, there are problems:
    * fraud -- you pay $ and displace nothing.
    * displacement -- you pay for service that would be rendered anyway.
    * indulgence -- you pay to consume more. No net change in carbon.

    Perhaps the best approach is to do many things, and carbon offsets are mighty democratic, but -- as I say here, the best thing for people to do is reduce their own carbon (turn off the lights!).

    NB: Voluntary CN is not an effective cap. As an involuntary (government force) program, carbon taxes are best.


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