Celebs Pay Up to Be Carbon-Neutral

It’s the latest hip trend in the entertainment world: carbon neutrality. Celebs from Brad Pitt [sound of young girls screaming] to Orlando Bloom [more screaming] to Bernardo Bertolucci [confused silence] are supporting Future Forests; the U.K. company promises to calculate a star’s total emissions of carbon dioxide for a year and plant the number of trees required to absorb that much CO2, thus neutralizing said star’s effect on the atmosphere. Brad’s having forests planted in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan; Jake Gyllenhaal’s are in Mozambique. It’s easy to mock the idea. See, watch: It sounds an awful lot like the for-profit company is playing on the guilt of celebs who would rather write a check than change their behavior, enriching itself while pursuing a strategy — planting trees — that has little hope of solving the climate-change problem. “To deal with the increased carbon dioxide emissions we face over the next half century, you would have to cover Europe — from the Atlantic to the Urals — completely with trees,” said Roger Highman of Friends of the Earth. Still, he credits the group with raising awareness, saying, “We are going to need the Brad Pitts of the world if we are going to save it from overheating.”