A Green Hypocrisy: Media Ignore Costs and Damage of Carbon Offsets

The media love a "green" story. As Al Gore and Hollywood celebrities champion the practice of carbon offsetting -- donating money toward an energy-saving project while still taking your vacation -- the media buzz in agreement.

"If more people do it over time, it's a good thing," said CBS reporter Russ Mitchell during a carbon offset story on the February 22 "Early Show."

Carbon offsetting is hypocritical because it allows the extremely wealthy, like Al Gore, to still use enormous amounts of energy (1 million miles of global air travel in 2005 and more than 20 times the national average of power usage in 2006), while telling everyone else to conserve energy to save the planet from climate destruction.Companies who embrace a similar practice called "cap-and-trade" also earn praise from the media, but what gets ignored are the environmentalists who say these schemes are inefficient or harmful and experts who cite high costs to the economy as well as the hypocrisy of the practice.In an interview with Sen. John McCain, Miles O'Brien didn't challenge the senator's support for mandatory "cap-and-trade" despite its failure in Europe and the enormous potential costs to the economy.You can read the entire Business & Media Institute article here.

Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour is the Assistant Managing Editor for the MRC's Business and Media Institute.