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The carbon costs of campaigning

The results are in - no, not the linkurl:election,;http://www.the-scientist.com/election/ but the total carbon footprints. In the past two years linkurl:John McCain;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55012/ and linkurl:Barack Obama;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54995/ have crisscrossed the country on private jets, they've printed out piles of party literature, they've sent their vice presidential picks and significant others on their own circuits, and they've staffed thousand

By | November 4, 2008

The results are in - no, not the linkurl:election,;http://www.the-scientist.com/election/ but the total carbon footprints. In the past two years linkurl:John McCain;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55012/ and linkurl:Barack Obama;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54995/ have crisscrossed the country on private jets, they've printed out piles of party literature, they've sent their vice presidential picks and significant others on their own circuits, and they've staffed thousands of field offices. All of these activities consume energy, paper, and other resources. And it all boils down to linkurl:carbon dioxide emissions.;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/24462/ The total carbon footprints of these campaigns? McCain - 58,568 tons CO2 Obama - 77,894 tons CO2 These numbers represent estimates based on total campaign expenditures. Obama spent more than $400,000,000 while McCain spent less than $227,000,000 on travel, campaign events, printing materials, and the other necessities of modern campaigning. linkurl:Standard Carbon,;http://www.standardcarbon.com/ a carbon offset provider and consultancy, conducted the linkurl:calculations.;http://standardcarbon.com/resources/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/us-presidential-election-carbon-footprint.pdf The average two-person US household emits just under 21 tons of CO2 per year, according to the linkurl:US Environmental Protection Agency.;http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/calculator/ind_calculator.html __The Washington Times__ linkurl:reports;http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/trail-times/2008/Oct/30/obamas-big-carbon-footprint-1/ that while neither candidate has specifically paid for carbon offsets, the charter flight company that the Obama camp uses does pay for carbon offsets. According to Standard Carbon, to balance out the CO2 pollution generated by the two front runners in the 2008 Presidential race, "approximately 18 square miles of new trees would need to be planted." That's 1,362,359 trees for the McCain campaign and 1,811,904 trees for Obama's. No matter who emerges victorious, let's hope come January, they get planting.
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Comments

Avatar of: John Kennedy

John Kennedy

Posts: 1

November 4, 2008

I heard on the news this morning that Gov Palin flew to Alaska to vote in her home town and then was going to get right back on the plane and travel to Phoenix. Does she not know about absentee ballots?
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 4

November 4, 2008

Absentee votes aren't counted anyway and no one knows this better than a Republican. ;-) \n\nNot to mention it is a last ditch PR effort on a soon to be failed campaign. Not worth the waste of carbon in my opinion.
Avatar of: MICHAEL GRAEBNER

MICHAEL GRAEBNER

Posts: 1

November 4, 2008

Just think of all the trees getting an extra drink of CO2, because CO2 is plant food and not pollution. \n\nIf Obama really believes that CO2 is a toxic gas, I wonder if he is going to tax himself on all that emitted CO2?
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 1

November 6, 2008

Lets hope that all the resources they used in their campaign, now they decide to implement them in environmental care.\nI am very sceptic about that, but hopefully\nI am wrong.

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