Engadget pushed for change with Dell's Plant a Me for Me Campaign. I've wrote about carbon offsets myself, and I do agree that they draw on your heartstrings to give money to businesses to fix their environmental problems.
Do they help? In one way, it helps - when you drag a tarp across a landfill in South Africa, capture the methane and then set it ablaze, yeah, it doesn't go into the atmosphere. I guess that not my idea of offsetting carbon. Nor am I crazy about funding these for-profit business to fix the environmental problems that they created.