Opinion: Going “green” on the campaign trail

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We would not have expected to find this piece in the Washington Times, the paper founded by Sun Myung Moon to provide a conservative voice in the nation’s capital. But there it was ... and on its front page, no less: a detailed look at the early efforts by three presidential candidates to formally offset greenhouse gas emissions tied to their campaigns.

The trio--John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and Chris Dodd, all Democrats--list payments in their campaign finance statements made to third-party companies that, as the article explains it, use the money ‘to plant trees, build clean-energy projects or take other steps that will lead to less carbon dioxide being emitted.’

Reporter Stephen Dinan tracked down the information, and you can read his story here.

The steps seem pretty paltry right now. And in the grand scheme of combating global warming, the virtue of the candidates’ offsets is mainly symbolic. Still, just as the Internet and YouTube are recalibrating the ways candidates communicate with voters, this strikes us as an idea that can only take root and grow--especially among candidates who want their commitment to the environment taken seriously.


-- Don Frederick