Speaking with Jeremy Paxman on the UK program Newsnight, rocker Sting was questioned on whether he ever felt uncomfortable traveling between his various homes “at enormous carbon costs”.
Sting said: “I think it’s an amusing red herring for the media to blame celebrities for the global crisis we’re in.” When Paxman interrupted saying that he wasn’t being blamed, but simply accused of hypocrisy, Sting replied, “I’ve done a lot of work to try and safeguard vast amounts of equatorial rainforests over the past 20 years. I think I’ve tried to ameliorate my carbon footprint which is admittedly large, but then again so is yours, Jeremy.”
He added, “Whenever I’m asked a sensible question that’s when I give a sensible answer, but none of us are blameless in this – none of us. It’s difficult to do my job and not have a carbon footprint, but I’ve tried to offset it. I’ve worked pretty hard over the last 20 years – demarcated an area of land the size of Belgium, which is a big success story, and this dam is going to compromise that.”
It’s a given that Sting is one of the more involved celebrities when it comes to the environment — but more from a cause-supporting point-of-view than a personal one. I mean, it’s not like him and Trudi fly commercial. The offsets for his personal life come from the time and dedication he’s given to protecting the rainforests — ok. But, as a celeb that also talks about carbon emissions and global warming — a little effort on greening the personal life (and concert tours as well — The Police last year were ranked as one of the worst polluting bands) would help deflect this constant criticism.
It’s one of the reasons why I believe you don’t see Brad Pitt talking about climate change and carbon emissions much — he knows he has a big-ass carbon footprint, but focusing on sustainable building to him is better for people’s health and pocketbooks than anything related to global warming.
If Sting is going to pontificate on climate change and show up at concert events like Live Earth, walking the walk at home is the only way to avoid being labeled a hypocrite, plain and simple.