Assume for a moment that one of the world's leading oil companies was identified to be using child laborers in various countries in order to cut payroll costs. Do you think that would be front page, headline news in the States?
Well, it appears that the carbon offset scam, devised largely to assuage the environmental guilt of wealthy people, is resulting in the exploitation of children in India. Yet, it seems a metaphysical certitude that global warming obsessed media won't bat an eye.
Why might that be?
As reported in Britain's Sunday Times (emphasis added, h/t Marc Morano):
The Prince of Wales turned to Climate Care after his environmental adviser, Jonathon Porritt, worked out the prince's carbon footprint.
Customers of British Airways are among those who have been encouraged to log on to Climate Care's website and calculate how many tonnes of greenhouse gases their flights will generate, and how much it will cost to neutralise the impact on the atmosphere. A flight to Barbados for a family of four, for example, generates 7.55 tonnes of carbon dioxide, which will cost them £56.64 to offset.
Climate Care uses the money to help persuade families such as Sarju's to give up labour-saving diesel pumps and buy human-powered treadles instead. It claims that by using the treadle, a family will save money on diesel and hire charges, earn more from increased crops and cut the carbon emissions that would have been produced by the pump.
Last week Indian experts criticised the scheme, saying it was promoting child labour and forcing poor farmers to work harder so that wealthy air travellers could enjoy exotic holidays without worrying about the environment.
"The problem is the number of times child labour is involved," claimed Ashutosh Pandey of Emergent Ventures India, which advises companies on clean technology.
A quick glance at Climate Care's website identified a neat little calculator where folks can identify how much CO2 they'd emit on a flight from X to Y so that they could purchase the correct amount of offsets to make their travel "carbon neutral."
I wonder if their customers know that while they're flying "environmentally guilt free," some kid in India is walking on a treadle pump for their clear conscience.
Sounds like the perfect "60 Minutes" or "20/20" exposé, or something Katie Couric, Meredith Vieira, or Diane Sawyer could really sink their teeth into while their eyes tear up for that well-timed close-up, wouldn't you agree?
Of course, that will only happen if this exploitation can somehow be pinned on a Republican or an industry they don't like.