Boeing are unveiling their new 787 "Dreamliner" long-haul jet on Sunday. Their PR machine is doing its best to laud it as an environmentally-friendly aircraft. Apparently it burns 27% less fuel than its equivalent aircraft - for example an Airbus A340.
Excuse me. An environmentally friendly aircraft? Why do we allow corporations to say the words "environmentally-friendly" and "aircraft" in the same sentence without shooting them down?
Linked to the "story" of the Dreamliner launch on BBC Online was a "story" from April of Virgin Airways ordering 15 of the Boeing planes. The headline was "Virgin orders 'green' Boeing jets". For supposedly the greatest news organisation in the world, that surely ranks up there with the most ludicrous oxymororonic headlines ever published.
On a round trip from New York to London, according to the calculations of the Edinburgh Center for Carbon Management in Scotland, a Boeing 747 spews out about 440 tons of carbon dioxide every time I fly to New York. If I knock off a quarter of that, by what stretch of the imagination is that "green". Just because Boeing and Virgin's PR companies kid themselves that their aircraft are fueled by water and oxygen comes out of the exhaust, it doesn't mean that's true.
I'm getting bored saying this every week - the BBC really must stop their journalists writing up stories by copying and pasting from PR handouts.