No worries on the greenhouse gases spewed to fuel the trek. The House bought "offsets" for the journey's emissions. Of course, that very act explains why so many Americans have come to doubt global warming true believers: Their great crusade is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, yet they globe-trot to be seen with one another and produce meaningless pieces of paper. Then they tell others that their exhaust fumes don't stink because, like sinners purchasing indulgences, they offset their vapor trails -- with other people's money.
Surely the best "offset" would have been for more Democrats to stay home. And what were all those Republicans doing in Denmark? I get Inhofe's parachuting into enviro territory to serve, as he likes to style himself, as a one-senator "truth squad." Spokesman Matt Dempsey noted that Inhofe "would prefer not to go" to an event he has dismissed as "the biggest party of the year," but someone had to counter COP-15's cap-and-trade agenda.
Surely some (or, better yet, all) of the six GOP House members -- James Sensenbrenner, Joe Barton, Fred Upton, Shelley Moore Capito, John Sullivan and Marsha Blackburn -- and their 10 committee staffers could have stayed home.
It would have been a great photo op -- in contrast to all those global warming enthusiasts ducking from the blizzard that they flew thousands of miles to experience -- if House Republicans had held a low-carbon, low-cost Skeptics Summit in D.C. at which they announced their refusal to participate in a process that, if somehow magically successful, would be harmful to the U.S. economy.
So you have two sets of big spenders. There are the U.S. officials who were so busy being important at COP-15 that they couldn't be expected to think about saving taxpayer dollars, and there are the Republicans who generally opposed COP-15, but not enough to skip it.
The disconnect in this story doesn't end. Participants could have put together a nonbinding treaty to try to halve emissions in 40 years by phone or the Internet. But the circus always was more important than the cause.
And you paid for it.