In recent days, Al Gore's carbon offsets have gotten lots of attention from many quarters, and much hilarity has ensued. While much of the joking comes from the fact that Gore's so-called carbon offsets are... well, they are a joke, we should not overlook the possibility that Gore's blunder here is not one of concept, but of focus. By that, I mean to say that Gore's idea is not without merit, it's just that he has addressed symptoms and not causes.
That is where I come in.
That human activities are releasing large amounts of so-called "greenhouse gases" into the atmosphere - carbon dioxide being one of them - is undeniable. Gore's move to popularize his carbon offsets as a legitimate solution to that condition fail simply because they do not stop the claimed damage before it happens, merely slapping on a band aid in a different spot instead. Really, does it make a difference to put up solar panels in one place if acid rain has already destroyed an entire forest in a different place? Adding a few hybrid cars to the gridlock on our highways doesn't change the fact that Gore's jet spews out tens of thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide while whisking him off to another screening of An Inconvenient Truth.
The problem is that cures are not effective if the disease they are meant to combat is not simultaneously put into check, and though global warming is not a problem of bacteria or viruses, the basic principal still applies. Therefore, for Gore's carbon offsets to really mean something, they must reduce human industry - the true cause of the atmospheric carbon issue - which necessarily means reducing the productivity of individual human beings.
(Perhaps in time we could replace all of our machinery with green versions, thus allowing our present prosperity to remain and to continue growing, but that will take a very long time and WE MUST ACT NOW! RIGHT NOW! NO DELAYS! DON'T QUESTION THAT! THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED!)
Therefore, I volunteer myself to become Al Gore's greatest carbon offset ever. Since at the root of all of the things Gore fears lies the industrious individual, which is what I happen to be, it is obvious that halting my productivity will eliminate a great deal of carbon emissions.
To put this plan into effect, I hereby offer my services to you, Mr. Gore, which shall entail me doing absolutely nothing. For a princely sum of cash, renewable annually as per the contract I am hereby offering, I will cease being productive. For as much money as it takes to a) keep me comfortable, b) buy out my ambitions in an amount equal to what my ambitions were leading me toward earning (which is a lot, by the way, Mr. Gore), and c) pay for a large enough solar panel array to power my Energy Star compliant PC so I can play World of Warcraft all of my waking hours, I agree to sleep at least 8 hours a day, nap up to 12 hours a day in addition, and stop badmouthing your terrible film for the other 4 hours of the day. As a bonus, I will have an entire week's worth of pizza delivered to my house every Monday so as to save the fuel the delivery driver would have otherwise burned bringing single orders to me each day of the week, billable to you. I will accept payment in cash, check (with two forms of picture ID), wire transfer, or PayPal (extra fees will be applied to cover transaction charges). In exchange, the amount of carbon I personally generate will be all but eliminated, which will truly address the carbon issue rather than just sweeping it under a solar panel.
So there you have it, Mr. Gore. I will be your ultimate carbon offset, and unlike your other attempts, this one will actually make a difference. I look forward to hearing from you, and I do urge you to hurry, as any delay will force me to continue being productive, which will only add more carbon to the atmosphere.