Ford spoke on Capitol Hill on Tuesday about general aviation at an event sponsored by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. In light of criticism Ford has received from envrionmentalists about his use of airplanes, CNSNews.com asked him if his environmental activism coupled with his flying was a “contradiction.”
Ford said, “They’re quite right. I’ll start walking everywhere when they start walking everywhere.”
Ford is one of the chairmen of Conservation International and has done an advertisement for the environmentalist group Team Earth. In commenting on his seven planes, Ford told CNSNews.com: “I only fly one of them at a time--and general aviation, although it does, use of carbon fuels does contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.”
Ford continued, “The contribution of general aviation to greenhouse gas emissions is less than 2 percent -- and all of aviation, less than 2 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. And private, or general aviation, is even less than that. So, it is significant.”
“I do contribute, rather than buying carbon credits, I contribute directly to conservation programs that help keep standing forests,” said Ford.
CNSNews.com also asked Ford about ways individuals could conserve energy and reduce their carbon footprint.
Ford said, “I think there are a variety of different efforts, each according to their particular circumstances. But I think, first of all, it derives from the consciousness of the necessity to lower our carbon footprint and to give full credit to what it is that the use of fossil fuels is doing to the planet, and to understand that and to make efforts in mitigating (it).”
According to its Web site, Team Earth encourages individuals to “do less,” meaning “using less paper, driving less, and using less energy by doing simple things like turning down your thermostat.”
Conservation International, which sponsors Team Earth, has a similar mission, saying it is “committed to helping societies adopt a more sustainable approach to development--one that considers and values nature at every turn.”
Ford has appeared in an advertisement for Team Earth that is posted on the Conservation International Web site. "When rain forests get slashed and burned it releases tons of carbon into the air we breath," Ford says in the ad. "It changes our climate. It hurts. Every bit of rain forest that gets ripped out over there, really hurts us over here." To see the ad click here.
In February, WENN Entertainment News Wire reported that Ford had told Britain’s Live magazine, “I’m so passionate about flying I often fly up the coast for a cheeseburger.” WENN reported that Dr. Wendy Buckley, director of Carbonfootprint.com, reacted to that as follows: “Flying is a huge source of carbon emissions and making unnecessary journeys by plane can no longer be seen as responsible to our environment. Stars like Harrison Ford need to embrace the huge opportunity to lead by example in the battle against climate change--reduce their overall lifestyle carbon footprint and carbon offset those unavoidable emissions.”
Ford has piloted a helicopter on rescue missions near his Wyoming home, on one occasion rescuing a Boy Scout and on another a stranded hiker.