NPR Covers Up For Al Gore

March 3rd, 2007 11:09 PM

Amid controversy over former Vice President Al Gore's decision to buy carbon offsets from himself, NPR's All Things Considered jumped into the fray to supposedly get to the truth. Unfortunately, as you can tell from this short broadcast and a few facts, what they did amounted to a cover up for Gore.

On Sunday night, when the movie An Inconvenient Truth won an Oscar, its star, Al Gore, took the stage with a message about global warming. He called for people the world over to change the way they live, so that they have less impact on the environment.

Not so fast, said a libertarian think tank called the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. They called up the Nashville Electric Service and asked about the bills for the Gore's 10,000-square-foot home.

This much is true:

Melissa Block talks with Mark Trexler, president of Trexler Climate and Energy Services in Portland, Ore., about carbon offsets — what they are, and how a small consumer can reduce carbon emissions.

But what neither NPR nor Trexler chose to address is that, given a report performed by Trexler himself, Al Gore's method of purchasing carbon offsets doesn't pass the test.

via CNET: Cashing in on carbon guilt

Although the idea of voluntarily spending money to help preserve the environment may seem beyond reproach, a recent study has called on consumers to be more discerning about their choices.

The report (available at link above), which rated the effectiveness of these services and called for industry standards around carbon offsets, was published earlier this month by the nonprofit organization Clean Air-Cool Planet.

Based upon the analysis performed by Trexler's company, transparency and the ability to confirm the worth of any so-called carbon offsets are keys to evaluating if a program is any good, or even real. Because Gore opted to go to England and set up an LLP to, in part, purchase his offsets from himself, there is no ability for anyone outside Gore's firm to validate the program. Instead of pointing that out, the NPR report concentrated on the alleged validity of carbon offsets, leaving their listeners with the impression that what Gore is engaged in considered compliant with any standard at all.

Says CNET:

"It is a business opportunity. And just like any other, there will be good businesses and not-so-good businesses," said Bill Burtis, the communications manager at Clean Air-Cool Planet, which advises businesses and communities on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "Some folks will step up and offer high-quality products, and there will be some people who can't."