Let’s put this out there right now: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger loves to fly in private jets. Even before he made California history as ‘the most travelling governor”, flying almost twice-weekly to Sacramento and other locales, his movie fame and association with the Kennedy family made such luxuries a weekly occurrence. According to the site TerraPass, Schwarzenegger and his crew could dump as much as 8,700 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere for a single one-hour flight from Santa Monica to Sacramento. Granted, the guy has security needs that most of us would never dream of — but the fact is , if you’re going to take a green position, you better back up your talk with some action. As Al Gore found out last week, there are always people watching ready to jump at any opportunity to discredit your leadership.
In light of this, the Governor is readying plans to offset his jet travel. From the article,
“Spokesman Aaron McLear said the governor is developing a program that would calculate his carbon emissions from Jan. 1, 2007, forward. Cal-EPA says the governor will work with the Pacific Forest Trust to calculate the cost of his carbon emissions, including the damage associated with the crew, staff and anyone else traveling with him. The Pacific Forest Trust is included in the California Climate Action Registry. The cost of Schwarzenegger’s travel then will be “annually invested” in sustainable forest management projects, starting with the Fred M. van Eck Forest Foundation, which has 2,100 acres in Humboldt County.”
Whether you think this is enough, or that the man is over-reaching his use of such transport, at least some recognition and addressing of the impact is occurring. It would behoove other people in a position of using private jets for travel (ahem, Trump, Travolta) to follow a similar program. Offsetting is a good start, Arnold. Now let’s see if you can find a way to reduce your travel needs as well. Be the change.