Paul McCartney should have been celebrating: the High Court of England had just finalized his very public divorce from Heather Mills, and on top of that he had just received a Lexus LS600H as a gift from Lexus for doing some promotional work for them. The LS600H is their flagship hybrid vehicle, with a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) rating and an impressive 430 horsepower engine. However, the car's fuel efficiency is rather poor at 21 MPG on combined highway/city driving. In other words, it's the kind of car that a rock star seeking to do some green branding (greenwashing?) would want to drive. Unfortunately for Mr. McCartney, the green aspects of the car--valid or not-- were overshadowed by the fact that it was delivered to him by plane direct from Japan, which made the carbon footprint of shipping the car 100 times bigger than had it been shipped by boat.
A source close to the former Beatle was quoted as saying that Paul will be "horrified after learning it was delivered by plane. Paul has always campaigned for green issues and he can’t understand why anyone would send an enormous car from Japan to Britain on a plane." Just how high is the carbon impact of shipping a car 7,000 miles on a Korean Air Flight? According to the offsetting company CO2balance.com, "the plane journey would have caused a carbon footprint of 38,050kg, compared to 397kg for a three-week boat journey." That means that the impact of shipping the car by plane is just as impactful as driving the same car around the world six times, according to Mike Rigby, director of CO2balance.com. It looks like Paul is going to have to shell out a fair amount of money for some high quality offsets. . .
In any case, this story is bound to get far less attention (if any) in the British tabloids than his high profile divorce, even though carbon emissions--especially from aviation--are getting a lot of press these days.
See Also: ::Aviation and the Climate: Penguins Join the Debate, ::Airline Industry Aims for 'Zero Emissions,' ::Jeremey Leggett Stirs Up the Aviation Debate, ::EU to Regulate Emissions From Airlines, ::Cargo Ship with Kites: First Trans-Atlantic Trip a Success!, ::Paul and Heather McCartney Visit Canadian Seals, ::McCartney Vegetarian Foods On the Hoof, ::Stella McCartney Vegan Boots, and ::Stella McCartney's New Skin "Care" Line