Luxury automakers have a new strategy for making concerned consumers feel better about buying gas guzzling sports cars and SUVs: Sell them carbon credits.
Porsche announced a new program called Porsche Impact that will allow buyers to calculate the carbon emissions of their Porsche, given their driving habits and cycle, and buy corresponding carbon offsets the go toward reforestation efforts, building solar and hydro power, and preserving animal habitat.
Our readers aren't buying either.
In last week's Twitter poll, we asked readers if buying carbon offsets, such as those in the Porsche program, could assuage their guilt from buying a car with a tailpipe.
As choices among electric cars that don't have tailpipes to pollute in the first place multiply, our readers overwhelmingly said no.
In response to our Twitter poll last week, which asked, "Could buying Porsche carbon offsets assuage your tailpipe guilt," 58 percent of respondents chose, "Never."
"Offsets (like the myth of mitigation, cap-&-trade, greenwashing) are ineffective, a scam, a ruse, & an indicator of indulgence," said reader Frank N. Blunt in our comments.
"Instead of paying to offset it, why not just spend the money and buy an EV instead." added XL-Volt.
Could buying carbon offsets assuage your tailpipe guilt?— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) August 13, 2019
Drilling down for more specificity, other choices included, "Not anymore," chosen by 26 percent of our respondents. With nearly a dozen choices among pure electric cars on the market, including several SUVs as well as affordable models, buying carbon offsets to make up for pollution from even a relatively economical gas burner seems a weak substitute.
Only 6 percent of our respondents indicated that buying a Porsche (or some other high-performance or perhaps otherwise high fuel-consumption car) might pile on more guilt than buying something cheaper or more efficient, choosing the option, "Not in a Porsche."
On the other hand, 10 percent of our Twitter respondents found buying carbon offsets a satisfactory solution, choosing "Completely."
Regardless of whether you support carbon offsets as a way to counteract the emissions you produce while driving, remember that our Twitter polls generate too few responses to be scientific, and that our respondents are self-selected, skewing our results.