More Al Gore Hypocrisy: ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ Wasn’t Carbon Neutral

At some point in time, it seems logical that the name of the Democrat Party must be changed to the Do As I Say, Not As I Do Party.

In another fine example of such hypocrisy, it appears that despite claims by Al Gore that all of the CO2 emitted into the air as a result of the production of his schlockumentary "An Inconvenient Truth" were offset with carbon credits, nothing can be further from the truth.

As Steve Milloy reported Thursday (emphasis added throughout):

The movie's producers, Paramount Classics and Participant Productions, announced that they purchased offsets from broker NativeEnergy to compensate for 100 percent of the CO2 emissions from the air and ground transportation, hotel use, and production and promotional activities associated with the movie.

Here was their June 6, 2006 announcement, which was also posted at the film's website (emphasis added):

Paramount Classics, Participant Productions, and NativeEnergy have joined forces to offset 100% of the carbon dioxide emissions from air and ground transportation and hotels for production and promotional activities associated with the documentary "AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH" making the film the first carbon-neutral documentary ever.

[...]

NativeEnergy, which works with individuals and organizations to help them compensate for their contributions to global warming, calculated the "carbon footprint" from producing "AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH," including all travel, office, and accommodations related emissions. The company then offset emissions through renewable energy credits or "green tags" from new renewable energy projects. Paramount Classics and Participant will split the cost of these tags; the funds will go towards helping build new Native American, Alaskan Native Village, and farmer-owned renewable energy projects, creating sustainable economies for communities in need and diversifying our energy supply.

Well, how much did they buy? According to Milloy, not much:

According to a Web site release from NativeEnergy - which has since been removed - it only cost 40 tons of offsets (worth about $480) to make "An Inconvenient Truth" carbon neutral.

It's an absurdly low figure given that the making of a 30-second television commercial can easily produce 50 tons and the movie "Syriana" - another NativeEnergy project - was supposedly offset with 2,040 tons worth of offsets.

Hmmm. So, a 30-second commercial produces 50 tons of CO2, and "Syriana" producers bought 2,040 tons of credits to offset that film's emissions.

Yet, the movie that brought this whole concept into the limelight only offset its carbon output with 40 tons of credits?

How delicious. All together now, "Do As I Say, Not As I Do!"

Yet, there's more:

As recently reported on the left-wing web site Grist.org (http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2007/6/19/123649/857), it's worthwhile asking whether carbon offsets are offsetting anything at all.

According to the Grist article, NativeEnergy is selling offsets that are supposed to be helping to pay for wind-generated electricity supplied by the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) to 52 Alaskan villages.

When the Grist reporter first interviewed an AVEC official, the money received from NativeEnergy was described as a "bonus" - a potential problem given that the agreement between AVEC and NativeEnergy requires that the offsets are "a significant contributor to economic viability and the seller's efforts to build additional wind capacity." AVEC and NativeEnergy have since backed off the "bonus" characterization, according to the Grist article.

While acknowledging the possibility of a slip of the tongue on the part of the AVEC official, the Grist reporter raised the salient point - presumably because of the black box-nature of CO2 offsets - that we will never actually know whether the offsets purchased through NativeEnergy were used to produce any wind power or reduce any CO2 emissions.

Adding it all up, it is quite questionable whether any of the efforts of these supposedly green producers did anything to "offset" the CO2 production involved in creating this film. Of course, that's if you even buy into this whole carbon credit scam in the first place.

Can you imagine the media stink this would be generating if Al Gore and Laurie David were Republicans?

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.