Back in 2007, when Al Gore hosted his Live Earth concert (featuring artists such as Madonna, whom Al’s wife was publicly eviscerating 20 years prior during an earlier incarnation of Al’s career), Tim Blair wrote:
I’ve been trying to come up with a violently destructive Gaia-raping stunt for us to participate in on Live Earth day, but it is literally impossible for even several thousand non-millionaires to match Live Earth’s own level of eco-vandalism while remaining within their means and the law.
We’ve been out-carboned by Big Environmentalism. There’s simply no way we can come close to matching the colossal carbon output of Gore and his musical mates.
Al’s non-musical mates are rising to the challenge, however. Reuters notes, “Copenhagen summit carbon footprint biggest ever:”
Delegates, journalists, activists and observers from almost 200 countries have gathered at the Dec 7-18 summit and their travel and work will create 46,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide, most of it from their flights.
This would fill nearly 10,000 Olympic swimming pools, and is the same amount produced each year by 2,300 Americans or 660,000 Ethiopians — the vast difference is due to the huge gap in consumption patterns in the two countries — according to U.S. government statistics about per person emissions in 2006.
Despite efforts by the Danish government to reduce the conference’s carbon footprint, around 5,700 tonnes of carbon dioxide will be created by the summit and a further 40,500 tonnes created by attendees’ flights to Copenhagen.
The figure for the flights was calculated by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), while the domestic carbon footprint from the summit was calculated by accountants Deloitte, said Deloitte consultant Stine Balslev.
As the professor likes to say, I’ll believe the environment is in crisis when the people who say it’s a crisis act like it’s a crisis. Among the attendees who wisely flew in by private jet was New York’s Nanny Mayor Mike Bloomberg, whom the forest-destroying Gray Lady rips for imagined eco-insensitivity:
A strong case can be made that when it comes to energy and climate issues, Mr. Bloomberg is the most visionary public official in the country.
And a strong argument can also be made that on a personal level, he ranks among the worst individual polluters ever to hold public office.
Mr. Bloomberg owns a helicopter and two jets, both Falcon 900s. He flies everywhere on private jets, by far the least efficient form of transportation on or above the earth. He takes his jet to Bermuda many weekends. He has flown around the globe on it. He uses it to go to Washington. He is planning to get to Copenhagen for the climate conference by private jet, too.
The carbon math works out like this: by taking his Falcon 900 to Denmark, Mr. Bloomberg will be responsible for the release of 37 times the carbon dioxide than if he and his entourage flew on a scheduled commercial flight. The calculations were done at my request by Dimitri Simos, the developer of software used by the airline industry to assess aircraft emission and performance. Mr. Simos said that a Falcon 900 carrying eight people from Newark to Copenhagen would produce 21.6 tons of carbon dioxide. By adding eight people to the scheduled Scandinavian Airlines flight, the aircraft, usually an Airbus A330-300, would produce an additional 0.58 tons of carbon dioxide.
Mr. Bloomberg’s routine trips to Bermuda are even more carbon costly: the private jet produces 130 times more emissions than going commercial. On those jaunts, Mr. Simos said, the Falcon produces 4.3 tons of carbon dioxide; putting another two people on an American Airlines Boeing 757-200 that flies to Bermuda would produce only 66 more pounds.
This is not Bloombergian hypocrisy; it is a paradox, shared by most of humankind. I’ve lived within a block or two of a subway station since birth, yet owned a car since I got a driver’s license. There is a long list of public figures — from movie stars to politicians to journalists — who preach conservation for everyone else, while living in mega-homes and flying in Gulfstreams. It is probably not a good idea for the rest of us to look down our noses at people who cannot resist such temptations until we can afford them ourselves.
But you’ll do it anyhow, of course. It is the way of the Timesmen.
Related: “Meltdown in Copenhagen — Climate Talks Suspended”, Jim Hoft writes at Gateway Pundit. One can only hope.