Some red hot chili peppers are on tour, and they're emitting a lot of greenhouse gases. But it's not the California rock band emitting carbon on a worldwide concert tour; it's seeds from chili peppers traveling to the "doomsday" vault in Norway.
A bipartisan congressional delegation visited the Svalbard Global Seed Vault July 11 as a side trip during the 19th Annual Session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly. Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., among others, delivered New World chili pepper seeds to the vault, a "fail-safe back-up plan to protect the existing world food supplies from destruction in the event of a large-scale catastrophe."
"As we manage the impact of climate change and other natural and man-made disasters around the world, the seed vault in Svalbard will be the safety deposit box that ensures we can keep that food supply intact," Cardin said in a statement.
Cardin, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, is outspoken about environmental issues ranging from green jobs to clean energy. Despite Cardin's positions, his trip to Norway left a giant carbon footprint - bigger than the footprint left in an entire year by the average American.
According to carbon management organization TerraPass.com, the seven-member delegation generated more than 24,300 pounds of carbon just by flying round-trip from Washington, D.C., to Oslo, Norway. That doesn't account for other travel associated with the trip. According to Climate Crisis, a website affiliated with Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," the average person generates 15,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Cardin's delegation generated about 1.5 times as much carbon dioxide just in traveling as the average person generates in an entire year.
Durbin, the Senate Democrats' second in command, has also championed climate change legislation, going as far as calling climate change a "national security threat" with his Global Climate Change Security Oversight Act, introduced in 2007:
"For years, too many of us have viewed global warming as simply an environmental or economic issue. We now need to consider it as a security concern."
Despite other climate-conscious liberals hypocritically leaving giant carbon footprints, the media continue to treat it as water under the bridge, which in this case, isn't as good as the hit Red Hot Chili Peppers song.