Monday, October 31, 2005


Further to our last post, it seems that DC may have inadvertantly blundered into an enviro-storm.

You will recall he promised "a carbon-neutral campaign for the leadership. With the help of the Carbon-Neutral Company, we are planting enough trees to counteract the additional carbon emissions generated by our campaign.”

Sounded pretty neat to us. But then we run a couple of gas guzzlers, never recycle our yoghurt pots, and don't know anything about all that green stuff.

It actually turns out the whole deal is known as "Celebrity Tree Planting", and besides Dave, it has attracted a wide circle of committed eco warriors:

Dido, Coldplay, Pink Floyd and the Foo Fighters all have albums that are said to be carbon-neutral, as was the last UK tour by the Rolling Stones. To counteract the 11 tonnes (!) of carbon dioxide emitted every year by Leonardo DiCaprio’s cars, homes and travel, he has established forests in Mexico, India, North America and Europe.

Other Future Forests clients include Lulu, Julian Lennon, Mis-teeq, Sugababes, Sting and Shaggy. “I like the cheekiness of sending people bills for their carbon emissions,” the company quotes BritArt bad boy, Damien Hirst, as saying. “Tree-f***ing-mendous.”

The trouble is, it turns out that many real environmentalists think the whole thing is phony. Mandy Haggith of Worldforests says:

“Trees are not magic painkillers that can remove the morning-after effects of fossil- fuel abuse. Marketing schemes that claim tree planting can ‘neutralise’ fossil-fuel use are misleading and may legitimise behaviour that actually makes climate change worse.”

Other campaigners describe such schemes as "greenwash," "a phoney climate fix, and a dangerous illusion," and false "absolution of carbon sins." Friends of the Earth say: “To deal with the increased carbon dioxide emissions we face over the next half century, you would have to completely cover Europe – from the Atlantic to the Ural mountains – with trees.”

What's even worse, the company that comes in for most criticism is Future Forests, a company that has now changed its name. To the Carbon-Neutral Company. The very company that is now planting all DC's leadership trees.

Hmm. Maybe it would be safest for DC just to stop emitting carbon for the duration of the campaign.


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