Posted at Heartland Institute Blog
In an article “It’s About More Than Polar Bears for Coca Cola,” Paul Chesser writes at the National Legal and Policy Center about the company embracing environmental organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund to show that it is following “green” policies in the manufacturing and distribution of its products.
Recently, Coca-Cola featured a new can which was silver in color and had two polar bears. They donated $2 million to the WWF and said they would match another million in donations to WWF.
As reported by Paul Chesser — a former Heartland Institute staffer — Coca-Cola Enterprises in the United Kingdom approached the UK Carbon Trust to ask them to evaluate the effectiveness of their production of Coca-Cola. The Carbon Trust gave Coca-Cola its highest rating of 95 percent. You may ask if Coca-Cola is paying the Carbon Trust for its assistance in the same manner sinners in the Middle Ages paid The Catholic Church indulgences for forgiveness of past sins.
Most alarming was Chesser’s writing:
The company — and Carbon Trust —maintain each can of Coca-Cola requires 170 grams of CO2 to produce it, and each serving of plastic bottles takes 240 grams of CO2.
Coca-Cola reported daily world-wide sales of 1.7 billion servings. These numbers are for production of Coca-Cola product and the amount of carbon dioxide produced by transporting products to customers would add significantly to the carbon dioxide footprint.
Assuming equal production of cans and plastic bottles for Coca-Cola, it is easy to show the annual carbon dioxide production is 0.13 billion tons of CO2. This is 0.4 percent of all the carbon dioxide produced due to human activity. If you factor in carbon dioxide produced by all transportation efforts to distribute Coca-Cola, the carbon dioxide footprint may rise to 0.6 percent.
Coca-Cola is playing a dangerous game in cuddling with the environmental movement. It is hard to argue drinking Coca-Cola is a necessity for sustaining life. Dentists, nutritionists, and opponents to obesity may argue Coca-Cola should be banned. By advocating human-caused carbon dioxide produces catastrophic climate events, instead of sustaining plant growth, Coca-Cola may be advocating its extinction.
* James H. Rust is a policy advisor for The Heartland Institute, a retired professor of nuclear engineering, and an outspoken critic of unnecessary alarmism over man-made global warming. He currently is delivering a talk titled “America's Failed Energy Policies and The Reason Why.”