Monday, March 24, 2008

Nets go carbon neutral; Times Sports section doesn't check News section

A New Jersey Nets press release about going carbon neutral got play in yesterday's New York Times Sports section, though a not dissimilar story in another section of Saturday's Times generated much more skepticism about what actually was being accomplished, calling the tactic "sleight-of-hand accounting."

The Sports article stated:

Nets’ New Environment

While the Nets are busy struggling for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East, and planning their move to Brooklyn, they have taken the time to become the first professional sports team to be certified as carbon neutral.

In a league known more for sideline celebrities and fancy cars, the Nets are standing out with their commitment to going green. To achieve the certification while working to make its facilities more friendly to the environment, the team is purchasing carbon credits that offset its carbon footprint.

“We have a social responsibility to do our part to combat climate change, but it also makes business sense as well,” Brett Yormark, the Nets’ chief executive, said in a news release.


The press release

The press release provides some more elaboration:
To achieve this position, the Nets plan to lower their carbon footprint by focusing on improving energy efficiency, recycling rates, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality and establishing green procurement policies for the materials the Nets use on a regular basis. To get to net zero CO2 as these changes begin, the Nets are purchasing guaranteed and verified carbon credits that support renewable energy projects around the world.


Probably the most green thing the Nets could do would be to move to an urban arena that minimizes parking. An Atlantic Yards arena would be more green than the current Izod Center--though it raises a whole lot of other questions about traffic--but, given that such an arena would likely be three years away, a move to Newark would be green.

Skepticism elsewhere

In an article Saturday headlined Lofty Pledge to Cut Emissions Comes With Caveat in Norway, the Times offered this skepticism:
Then, in January, the Norwegian government went a step further: Norway would be carbon neutral by 2030, it said.

But as the details of the plan have emerged, environmental groups and politicians — who applaud Norway’s impulse — say the feat relies too heavily on sleight-of-hand accounting and huge donations to environmental projects abroad, rather than meaningful emissions reductions.

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