'Evening News' Green Fantasy

     Seeking “cool solutions” to global warming, CBS “Evening News” wrapped up its three-part series with a look at “an ecological fantasy island” on March 8

     It was more of a liberal fantasy.

     The Mark Phillips report told the story of Samso, an island in Denmark, which is “living a green dream.” The carbon neutral island’s inhabitants use fuels of their own making to power vehicles, grow and burn straw for heat, and utilize solar panels and wind turbines to generate other necessary power.

     Phillips said, “If this can work here, maybe it can work anywhere.” Anchor Katie Couric said residents of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. were so impressed by Samso “they’re now using it as a model for their own 10 year alternative energy program.”

     But what was not explained in the CBS broadcast is that not all geographies are equal. In this case, Samso is an island with plenty of wind. And one that only boasts just 40 square miles and a population of roughly 4,000. The city of Buffalo, New York is about the same size as Samso by square miles, but its population in 2000 was nearly 300,000.

     Phillips also said that Samso resident Erik Andersen runs his tractor on “oil from rapeseed, which he grows,” but it is unlikely most Americans are going to start growing their own fuels.

     Wind power has also struggled to gain American support. CBS News reported on June 29, 2003 that a proposal to build wind turbines in the middle of Nantucket sound was being opposed by residents and legislators as high profile as Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.).

     “The problem is that they’re going to be visible,” State Sen. Rob O’Leary told CBS News.

     On March 6 and 7 CBS “Evening News” discussed solar power in its “Global Warming, Cool Solutions” series, but did not explain the extremely high costs of solar power.