Putting some of my money where my mouth is, yesterday I gave my second (tax-deductible) contribution to LiveNeutral to offset my annual household greenhouse gas pollution, as calculated from the number of miles driven on our 2000 Subaru Forester, the number of kilowatt hours summed from last year’s ComEd bills, and the number of therms in my North Shore Gas annual summary. LiveNeutral is one of a number of greenhouse gas pollution offset providers, some nonprofit, some commercial, which allow individuals to purchase credits which fund renewable energy, carbon sequestration, and other projects which proportionately compensate for one’s own emissions. LiveNeutral buys credits on the Chicago Climate Exchange, while other providers sponsor their own greenhouse gas pollution offset programs.

About all this act does is greenwash me for another year. Such voluntary programs, however noble, will not solve the likely growing climate crisis. Only when the cost of such greenhouse gas pollution is built into the price of energy through mandatory caps on emissions will reductions significant enough to stem global warming occur.