The virtues of carbon neutrality

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I’ve been following the voluntary carbon offsets debate and it’s been a bit controversial because some schemes have turned out to be a flop; e.g. Coldplay’s latest CD and associated world tour was supposed to be ‘carbon neutral’, but they coughed up the cash and the mango tree plantation in Karnataka, India did not live up to expectations! Then it’s a question of where stuff gets planted; i.e. trees in the UK or trees in Thailand? Where do you get more ‘bang for your buck’? The sceptical amongst us tend to pooh-pooh the idea because it simply makes the corporates feel less guilty about their unconscionably high emissions, and so they merrily carry on emitting, not being as incentivised as they might to look at ways of weaning themselves of fossil fuels. From where I’m sitting, I’d rather they emitted and try to offset rather than emit and do nothing, but there is certainly a dire need for some sort of international watchdog to monitor standards; something the UK government elected to act upon recently.