Offset Your Infidelity

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Do you have difficulty being faithful? Fear not: CheatNeutral allows you to offset your infidelity by paying another couple not to cheat. With just a few easy payments, you can assuage you guilt and continue your meandering ways.

Sound crazy?

That’s because the “service” is an elaborate satire of carbon offsets, the system that allows polluters to justify their sins by paying to reduce emissions elsewhere.

As Mark Shapiro illustrates in the recent issue of Mother Jones, in the wrong hands carbon offsetting=greenwashing. When enviro-villains GM, American Electrical Power, and Chevron recently partnered with the Nature Conservancy, they weaseled out of tougher emission limits by purchasing reserves in a Brazil forest. In return, they got rights to the trees’ potentially lucrative carbon sequestration—while pushing locals from their land. Environmentally responsible? Yeah, right.

Of course, carbon offsetting isn’t all bad. Legit companies like TerraPass, for instance, allow individuals and businesses to offset their everyday emissions by funding renewable energy projects.

But CheatNeutral sharply makes the point: Wouldn’t it make more sense for the worst offenders to not screw over a partner—or an ecosystem—in the first place?

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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