Carbon Offset Kiosks Help Air Travelers Ditch GuiltNational Public Radio September 29, 2009http://snipr.com/npr-carbonoffsetkiosksSTEVE INSKEEP, host: It's MORNING EDITION from NPRNews. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.RENEE MONTAGNE, host: And I'm Renee Montagne.Environmentally aware travelers may feel a bit guiltyabout flying these days, knowing that airplanes emitlots of harmful greenhouse gases into the air, so oneairport is offering a way to ease one's ____________________. San Francisco International is thefirst to install kiosks selling carbon offsets. RoriGallagher explains how it works.Unidentified Woman: Welcome to San Francisco International Airport.RORI GALLAGHER: With the simple ____________________ of a credit card, travelers passingthrough San Francisco can offset their flight. What does that mean exactly?Professor MICHAEL WARA (Stanford University): That's a very ____________________ concept.GALLAGHER: That's Michael Wara. He's an environmental law professor at Stanford.Professor WARA: I mean, what are you buying? You're buying a piece of paper thatrepresents the fact that an emission of an odorless, colorless gas did not occur somewhereelse.GALLAGHER: The airport is hoping to turn that abstract concept into reality. Deputy AirportDirector Kandace Bender says it cost $190,000 to develop the climate passport kiosks from ____________________.Ms. KANDACE BENDER (Deputy Airport Director, Communications and Marketing): We felt itwas a good public service for our ____________________ and for the environment.GALLAGHER: The kiosks look similar to self check-in machines or small ATMs. Benderdemonstrates how the touch screen works.Ms. BENDER: Let's say it's a long flight, 6,000 miles, about 12 hours. One person, enterCalculate My Flight, so $34.34.GALLAGHER: The price varies from a couple of dollars for a short West Coast flight to asmuch as $70 for an international trip.Ari Peskoe was the first passenger to try it. He paid $11 to offset his flight back home toBoston.Mr. ARI PESKOE: Greenhouse gas offsets, that sound like a good idea.GALLAGHER: Even though Peskoe did decide to swipe his credit card, he's unsure aboutwhat he actually just paid for.Mr. PESKOE: Yeah, that's a good question, right? So I was reading about this Garcia Riverproject. I suppose that's what it goes to, but I'm not entirely sure. I didn't have a chance toread all about it.GALLAGHER: If Peskoe had more time, he would discover that the majority of his cash justtraveled about a hundred miles north, to the rugged landscape of Mendocino County, thehome of the Garcia River Forest.GALLAGHER: The forest spans 37 square miles, mostly carbon dioxide-trapping Redwoodtrees and Douglas fir that have been logged several times. But now the nonprofitConservation Fund owns the forest and is allowing the trees to grow tall. The extra tons of carbon that get trapped from allowing the trees to grow tall are sold as offsets.
Lesson created by Steve Silver, Kwansei Gakuin University, Nishinomiya, Japan. This work is licensed under the CreativeCommons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/