ABC’s Liberal Weatherman Touts Emotional Benefits of Carbon Offsets

On Friday’s "Good Morning America," liberal weatherman Sam Champion featured actor/activist Ed Begley Jr. to promote the concept of carbon offsets. The ABC meteorologist gushed over the emotional benefits of this environmental program. He exclaimed, "And you, kind of, pay into them and they fund projects that are doing good work. So you feel better about your energy use by helping create greener energy, basically."

The segment featured no skepticism as to the validity of these offsets. Rather, the tone was set by Champion’s introduction. He lectured, "We just can't help it. But every time we flip on a light switch, we're making pollution..." Later, Mr. Begley excitedly asserted that if enough people purchase carbon offsets, "...Guess what? They're going to shut down power plants."

Carbon offsets work under the dubious notion of paying money towards environmental projects in order to make up for the carbon dioxide that one produces. But neither Begley, nor Champion bothered going into very much detail about how the concept works. Instead, the actor enthused about obscure environmental companies such as "Green Switch" and "TerraPass."

GMA’s meteorologist has a long history of mixing left-wing environmental politics with the day’s forecast. In January, a segment he hosted wondered if "billions" will die from global warming. In April, he lectured viewers about the need to have "green" weddings.

A transcript of Friday’s segment, which aired at 8:32am, follows:

Sam Champion: "We've got our 'just one thing" with Ed Begley Jr. this morning as our guest. But now, We just can't help it. We just can't help it. But every time we flip on a light switch, we're making pollution or you turn on a TV, because all of that electricity comes from, basically, from electricity plants that are fueled by coal burning. Right?"

Ed Begley Jr. (Living With Ed): "Coal is a natural gas, but there's a lot of coal burned in this country to make kilowatts."

Champion: "Let me first say, 'Living with Ed,' your show."

Begley: "Thank you."

Champion: "And also we know you are a green activist. And so, you're going to tell us how we can make a difference if we maybe we do something you're calling carbon offsets. So, explain that for me."

Begley: "What it is that, every American makes about 22 tons of C02 every year. And how could you mitigate that? With a carbon offset. It's a good way to reduce that amount of C02. First thing you do, is you reduce your power usage in your home. Compact fluorescent bulb. Energy saving thermostat. Good insulation. Or you got these power strips that will turn off a whole bunch of--"

Champion: "We love all those ideas."

Begley: "There's a company called Green Switch too that will turn 'em all when you leave your house. A very good way to go with that. Then you figure out what number is, what you're using after you do all these reductions and then you find a way through TerraPass or Native Energies to reduce that number, to offset it by buying green energy out in the marketplace."

Champion: "All right. Now, the reason and you've listed one or two, [To a child in the audience] excuse me darling. You've listed one or two things to tell us about offsetting. Now, how do we know this works? What's the theory here?"

Begley: "There's independent groups that verify. Groups like TerraPass and Native Energy, the ones that do it. You can go to ABC.com. You can go to the EPA website to verify this stuff. But a carbon offset takes the dirty fuel, you've done your reductions at home through Green Switch, through these different things to reduce your power usage. Then you go to Native Energy. You go to TerraPass. And you become carbon neutral."

Champion: "And you kind of pay into them and they fund projects that are doing good work. So you feel better about your energy use by helping create greener energy, basically."

Begley: "And you're not eliminating the power plant usage. That's out there."

Champion: "Right."

Begley: "But you're feeding green kilowatts into the system. And if enough people do that, guess what? They're going to shut down power plants."

Champion: "And, Ed, they can check your website and ABC News.com."

Begley: "Or Living With Ed, LivingwithEd.net."

Champion: "Just to make sure that it's a good organization your doing this with, if your so inclined to do the carbon offset. Ed Begley Jr., thank you so much for helping us out with the whole idea."

Begley: "Yep. Thank you so much."

Champion: "It makes sense when it comes from you."

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org