Environment Forum

Pearl Jam: rock, trees and business

gossardPearl Jam reckons that 380,000 fans last year drove an average 23.6 mile round trip to the rock band’s concerts.

And two fans travelled in each car, which had an average fuel consumption of 21.9 miles per gallon — roughly what the U.S. government would expect from a Pontiac G6 or perhaps an Audi TT Roadster in a city.

Rather than a bizarre insight from a crystal ball or a step towards a Big Brother society, the figures are part of a complex calculation about the band’s greenhouse gas emissions on a 32-stop tour.

Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard (left) says the band is trying to stress that it is a business interested in combating global warming. (for a related story, click here).

The band is investing $210,000 to improve forestry in urban areas of Washington State. The project will try to eradicate invasive species such as English ivy and favour native trees and plants and help soak up 7,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, above the 5,474 tonnes estimated from the tour.

On your mark! Get set! Swim to the Caribbean!

The contestants are chunky to say the least, but to their celebrity coaches and sponsors they are things of beauty: 11 endangered leatherback sea turtles, competing to be the first to swim from their chilly feeding grounds off the Canadian Atlantic coast to their breeding grounds in the Caribbean.

The Great Turtle Race starts April 16, but the handicapping began early, with boosters for massive entrants Nightswimmer and Backspacer boasting that they were sure to win.

“Our turtle, Nightswimmer — huge, beautiful,” said Mike Mills, bass player with alternative pop/rock group R.E.M., which is sponsoring the big male racer. “Of course with (former U.S. Olympic champion swimmer) Janet Evans as coach I really don’t see how we can lose.”