I think this response raises nearly as many questions as it tries to answer, not all of which can be answered by Hazon:
1. How effective are carbon offsets? If the purpose is simply to assuage guilt over the impact of our carbon footprint when we travel, then it definitely works. Lots of people buy shares in wind energy and water reclamation projects as they redeem their frequent-flier miles and travel all over the world. But if we try to measure effectiveness in real time and space, can we ever buy enough carbon offsets to truly correct against the impact of thousands of miles of car and air travel -- before that impact permanently harms the earth? I'm not so sure.
2. If another purpose of Hazon is to foster Jewish community, I understand that. Those who identify as Jews (whether by birth or by choice) are already a far-flung people, spread all over the globe but still making up less than 3% of the world's population. Most of our history as a cohesive people has been spent in Diaspora, meaning we've had to foster a sense of community wherever we find ourselves. I also understand that many who are Jewish, but whom move through circles and communities that are mostly not, experience a sense of isolation. Such gatherings give these Jews an opportunity to connect with others and feel a little less lonely. But Hazon's vision still needs to operate in the larger world, and that world is increasingly dirtier and hotter and under daily attack from the impacts our choices make.
Along with sustainable food, I'd like to see Hazon talk about sustainable travel, sustainable family planning, sustainable transport of food from producers to markets to consumers. Ultimately this will require a larger emphasis on sustainable communities that focus on the truly local connections that we can and must make with each other. Perhaps this can be done in part by making these globe-trotting events happen less often, and by taking the time to examine more deeply the true consequences of global travel. I still maintain that it's becoming a luxury our planet can no longer afford to indulge in so often, and I would welcome a deeper exploration of this theme by the folks at Hazon.