Do trees make it OK to drive an SUV?
By MICHAEL HILL, Associated Press Writer1 hour, 36 minutes ago
If you plant some trees, is it OK to drive an Escalade?
The question isn't as silly as it sounds. People worried about global warming increasingly are trying to "offset" the carbon dioxide — the leading greenhouse gas — they spew into the atmosphere when they drive, fly or flick on a light. One idea popular with the eco-conscious is to have trees planted for them. You get to keep driving and flying, but those trees are supposed to suck in your trail of carbon.
Whole forests have been funded by tree-loving celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Coldplay, and more modest packages tailored to typical consumers are proliferating.
But some researchers say planting trees — while a good thing — is at best a marginal solution to global warming. Still others decry tree planters who continue to jet off to Cannes, drive their SUVs or generally fail to reduce their fuel-hungry lifestyle. To those critics, plantings and other carbon offsets are like the medieval practice of selling indulgences to wash away sins: It may feel good, but it doesn't solve much.