National Center for Public Policy Research press release


For Release: January 13, 2010
Contact:
David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or [email protected]

Statement of David A. Ridenour on Congressional Junket to Copenhagen

"CBS had only half the story"


Statement of National Center for Public Policy Research vice president David A. Ridenour on Congressional excesses in Copenhagen:

"Thanks to CBS's Sharyl Attkisson, we have an idea of the size of the carbon footprint left by Nancy Pelosi's delegation to the global warming conference in Copenhagen last month.

It was big -- so big that it would take more than 1,300 Bangledeshis a year to produce as much carbon.

Attkisson reported that the delegation consisted of at least 101 people, including 20 members of Congress.  The delegation was so large, she reports, that it required three military aircraft to transport them.

The aircraft were two 737s (presumably, 737-700s) and one Gulfstream V (presumably, a  Gulfstream 500 or 550).

Assuming the highest possible performance for these models, the Gulfstream V spewed about 60 metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere for the 8,100 mile round-trip journey while the 737s together produced an additional 262 metric tons of the greenhouse gas.

But the three aircraft weren't enough.  Due to space limitations, at least 37 of the attendees had to fly a somewhat longer commercial flight.  That added perhaps another 56 metric tons in emissions (based on a CarbonFund calculator and assuming a stop at Heathrow), so the delegation produced at least 378 metric tons of CO2 and probably considerably more.

It takes 1,303 Bangladeshis to produce that amount of carbon over an entire year.  It takes 326 Indians to do the same thing.  Here at home, we produce less than 20 tons of carbon per capita per year.  On average, members of Pelosi's group produced about 19% of that in just two days.

But that's only the tip of the iceberg. 

An estimated 45,000 people flocked to Copenhagen to participate in the conference,  most of them self-avowed environmentalists who didn't have any official function in the negotiations.

Assuming an average of a half ton a head -- a third of that used by commercial passengers traveling from D.C. – over 22,000 were burned in this pointless exercise.

That's enough to run St. Helena and the Caicos Islands for a year, with change to spare.

No one expected a new binding agreement to come out of Copenhagen and that fact had been known for weeks in advance of the meeting.

The effort was not only spectacularly hypocritical, but stupid.

Attkisson says one Democrat told her that the large American presence in Copenhagen shows the world how serious the U.S. is about climate change.

It certainly does:  We're not at all serious.

But judging by the enormous numbers of attendees traveling from the far corners of the earth, neither is anyone else.

CBS's Sharyl Attkisson is to be commended for her fine reporting, but CBS had only half the story.  The Members of Congress who traveled to Copenhagen hurt more than the taxpayers -- they also hurt the environment."

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