A press release just landed in my inbox lauding Dell's new Zero Carbon Initiative. It's brilliant to see Dell putting climate change at the top of its agenda and its plan has good stuff - building 'the greenest PC', asking its suppliers to report their CO2 output and more. The company also has a great recycling record, with free worldwide schemes in place already. Now for the rant. I've got to knock the company's emphasis on carbon offsetting, which Friends of the Earth dismisses as a smokescreen and is pretty much the verdict I've come round to (I've changed my tune on that). Dell's Plant a Tree scheme, which just went live in the UK, is particularly lame. Why? Because the onus is on the punter - you and me - to pay for the offsetting. Besides, how far will £1 for a notebook and £3 for a desktop actually go on tree-planting? Yes, it's better than nowt, but it's also a distraction from energy efficiency improvements and serious carbon-cutting. It's cheap PR, not serious change.