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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Emerging Science Note/Radiohead

Air Date: Week of

Living on Earth's Jennifer Chu reports on the band Radiohead’s greenhouse gas emissions.


CURWOOD: Just ahead, new hope for sustainable community redevelopment. First, this note on emerging science from Jennifer Chu.

[MUSIC: "High and Dry” Radiohead: The Bends (Capitol) 1995]

CHU: There’s a new culprit on the list of eco-unfriendly enterprises. The music industry, which some folks blame for noise pollution, is now being criticized for its greenhouse gas emissions. Taking most of the heat is British pop band Radiohead whose lead singer, Thom Yorke, recently joined a “Friends of the Earth” campaign to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the United Kingdom.

But, The Sunday Times in London, with the help of The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Management checked up on just how environmentally friendly Yorke’s band is. They analyzed the band’s latest tour and found that the five hundred thousand fans that traveled to these concerts generated more than five thousand tons of carbon dioxide.

In addition, Radiohead racked up an estimated 50,000 air miles during the tour, producing fifty-four tons of CO2. And finally, two thousand tons of CO2 were produced in making the CD “Hail to the Thief.”

In all, Radiohead’s tour contributed an estimated 7 and a half thousand tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. That’s what one thousand, four hundred cars produce in a year. Bands including The Rolling Stones, Coldplay, and Pink Floyd have attempted to offset their carbon pollution by planting trees, which absorb carbon dioxide. For Radiohead to follow suit the band would have to plant 50,000 trees and maintain them for a hundred years to offset the pollution from their latest tour. That’s this week note on emerging science, I’m Jennifer Chu.



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