The Unsuitablog

Exposing Ethical Hypocrites Everywhere!

Treehugger Loses The Plot

Posted by keith on January 23rd, 2008

Treehugger Trendy

Those guys at, what a bunch of great guys! They love a joke, don’t they?

“In spite of all the bad news about first-generation biofuels, it’s still a thrill to hear that Virgin Atlantic announced yesterday a 747 flown on a mixture of about 20 percent biofuel and the rest kerosene will lift off for a test flight in February, many months earlier than planned.

“The passengerless Virgin flight from London to Amsterdam will be a Boeing 747-400 and will fly the approximately 1.5-hour flight on the alternative fuel, which Virgin spokesman Paul Charles wouldn’t identify but said is from a “sustainable” source that doesn’t compete with food or freshwater supplies.”

Anyone would think they are really supporting flying – good thing it’s just some crazy April Fools joke. What? It’s not a joke?! My source tells me that they really did write an article that said it was “a thrill” to hear about a 20% biofuel plane.

A Thrill?!

Do they really think that making any form of flying more respectable will do anything to make this planet a greener place? 20% biofuels, so that means 80% kerosene, so let’s just suppose that it’s a 20% cut in fossil fuel emissions. Now let’s look at the source of the biofuel.

A “sustainable” source would mean no net transport emissions, no use of fertilisers, no loss of habitat, no reduction in photosythesis…are you getting this?

And let’s just suppose (we’re really stretching the imagination now) that this “sustainable” source is better than kerosene in terms of overall emissions. How many people will stop flying now if they think that it is ok to carry on doing it because their flights are now a little bit greener? How many people who previously refused to fly because of the horrific greenhouse gas growth will now think again, and maybe take the odd Virgin flight?

If flying was truly sustainable then I would be on the first plane to New Zealand to see the glaciers before they all melted away; but it never will be sustainable, and I’m not going. Treehugger, you really have sold out on this one.

4 Responses to “Treehugger Loses The Plot”

  1. Reduced emission != sustainability « The Green Bean Says:

    […] by Mat on January 23, 2008 Now this is a truly great rant from keith…hits the point right on the mark (though sorry, I still love treehugger for my own […]

  2. Mat Says:

    Awesome post and hits it on the head. Thanks for clarifying for people!

  3. Sustainability Choices Says:

    Sustainability is not just about environmental sustainability. It’s about economic and social sustainability as well. If we stop all flights because of the associated GHGs, the world as we know it will cease to exist. Environmental choices that are not economically sustainable are not sustainable at all. The idea is to educate ourselves to make increasingly more sustainable choices, wherever possible and do things that will reasonably offset the impacts of our choices wherever possible. It’s not about sending the quality of our lives back to the stone age.

  4. keith Says:

    This is a hopelessly naive comment, Jabeen. If we stop all flights then we wouldn’t fly – there are other ways to get around. The world as we know it may cease to exist, but that would be saying goodbye to a world in which people fly: big deal.

    Quality of life has nothing to do with material wealth; it is determined by whether you can fulfil yourself to the best of your potential, whilst not affecting others’ ability to maintain the basic rights of fresh air, clean water, shelter, food, and a basic level of mental and physical stimulation. My quality of life is infinitely better now I have removed the blinkers that this culture of consumption forced onto me: I can now see the real world, the one that is so tragically being ripped to shreds by the vested interests of corporations and commercially orientated politicians. I have connected with the real world and can appreciate its beauty, and how fundamental its continuation is to my existance.

    This “stone age” you speak of — that is known as a “straw man” argument; one that tries to present an absurd case in defence of an already poor one. What you are scared of is losing your technology, your car, your TV, your constant running hot water and air conditioning. Now face up to reality: none of these things is necessary — there is a far more fulfilling life out there in the real world.

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