Suddenly, carbon trading is hip. Travelocity has announced its Go Zero program - book your trip through the site, pay an extra fee, offset your carbon use, leave your guilt behind. It's a feel-good way to pollute.
From the fund development side the deal with Travelocity is a great boon for The Conservation Fund. Travelocity also has a Travel For Good Program - which sets travelers up with groups like Earthwatch and Cross-Cultural Solutions. These groups set up volunteer trips that give travelers the opportunity to do good works in cool places.
OK OK, these are all good things and Travelocity is being a good corporate citizen. I'll stop being so cranky. As a far-too-frequent traveler and thus someone who's ecological footprint is way way way too big, I'm not opposed to things that can ease our guilt. (Maybe I can bill the carbon offset fee to clients? Or count it as part of my company's corporate giving?) Heck, I'm all for easing my guilt. I just think we need to do it by changing our behaviors, not just by "buying" our way into feeling better.
Fight consumerism with consumerism - now there's a bumpersticker. OK I lied, I'm not done being cranky.