"BusinessWeek Writers" bizarrely claim that carbon offsets don't influence behavior, and list offsets as the worst idea of 2008.

Worst Idea

Carbon Offsets

The wanna-be environmentalist's "Get out of Jail Free" card, carbon offsets enable companies or individuals to invest in tree farms or wind power as a way to compensate for their carbon footprints. Problem is, offsets don't change behavior. They're just the green equivalent of confession, making people feel better about their eco-sins but not stopping them from committing them.

BusinessWeek needs to brush up on its economics; the whole field can be summarized in one sentence: "prices influence behavior". A person who chooses to offset their carbon use will have to buy offsets in order to do so, that the price of those offsets will necessarily influence the buyer's behavior.

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