Offset Your Infidelity

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


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?

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.