Offset Saturday September 1, 2007, 4 comments

Carbon offsets allow carbon-producing companies and countries to offset their carbon dioxide production in a variety of ways, such as planting trees or investing in alternative energy initiatives.

The Kyoto protocol that most countries have signed uses the concept of carbon credits to allow developed countries and large companies to offload some of their carbon dioxide production to lesser-developed countries for a fee. The idea is that these offset fees will then be used by those less developed countries to buy or develop clean energy technologies.

Offsetting is cool. But carbon dioxide is not the only evil in this world. Why not use the offset concept for the betterment of all mankind?

I propose the simple concept of sin offsetting.

The idea is that one can sin all one want, and then offset that sin on the pious and pure for some nominal fee. This fee could then be used to help the pious and now slightly-less-pure commit to some sort of penance schedule to erase this offset sin and once again guarantee their place at the right hand of the lord, in bed with 72 virgins, or whatever eternal reward they feel is coming to them.

The general level of sin on planet earth is reduced, the unrighteous continue to get laid, drink, go about the daily business of living, etc. and the nouveau-riche righteous, afraid of slaying their golden goose, stop pontificating.

Everybody wins.


Comments

Ann Torrence Saturday September 1, 2007


A modern day sin-eater? Or an MLM pyramid scheme for the sinful, functioning so long as we don’t send our own species to extinction? The world-wide total sin meter might actually register an increase, if an easy absolution could be got for money. Imagine the advertising opportunities! What’s the warranty period, and how do I get a refund, post-demise, if my credits aren’t accepted at the Holy Gates?

Daniel Black Tuesday September 4, 2007


I was wondering about the assumption of a reduction of net sin, too. If anything, seems the best we could hope for is a zero-sum condition; but most likely, in agreement with Ann, I can’t imagine this actually reducing net sin. Possibly sin perpetuates more slowly, or something.

I like the thinking, though. Any way to apply scientific modeling and thermodynamics to behavioral and social systems intrigues me.

Adrian Wednesday September 5, 2007


Perhaps a slower perpetuation might give us enough time to find another solution?

Or something…

sarah Thursday September 6, 2007


Just out of interest, on the same principle, how are carbon offsets supposed to reduce net carbon emissions? The same principle could be applied to sin offsets?

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