environment & naturemusic

Eco-friendly rockers not all so eco-friendly

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Rolling Stone has a silly feature about the “most eco-friendly rockers.” How silly is it? Sheryl Crow made the list.

Sheryl Crow estimates she neutralized nearly 1.5 million pounds of CO2 by greening her 2010 tour by using biodegradable and compostable catering, biodiesel fuel and reusable water bottles for the band and crew. The tour’s total carbon reductions were equivalent to 81 homes not using electricity for an entire year. Portions of the tour also went toward the Laurelbrook dairy farm in Connecticut to help purchase a methane digester to reduce the amount of toxic gas entering the atmosphere. At every show Crow required an Eco-Village to house informational booths for more than 50 environmental groups. In the past, Crow worked with StopGlobalWarming.org on a college tour and partnered with ZimRide to encourage carpooling to shows. She even planned an eco-friendly baby shower in advance of her son’s birth.

Before you start thanking Crow for sacrificing so much to save the Earth, you might want to check out her house. It’s 10,264+ square feet on 150+ acres and includes a 14-stall horse barn, indoor riding arena, seven full baths, theater… it’s a long list.

Yes, it’s a “fully functional “Solar Farm” generating over 40% reduction in electric costs.” And I would assume that it is ”eco-friendly,” whatever that means. Still, even with a 40% solar power reduction in the cost of electricity, this property has to be using several times more power than the typical American home, based on size alone (heating, air conditioning, lights, pool, etc.). And that’s not considering the environmental impact of construction, maintenance, and cleaning of a massive residence like that, with its brick patios and all.

Just the mowing of that property (it appears to be well-manicured) must release far more pollutants into the air than my entire home generates. Unless the lawnmowers are, like, solar, I guess.

Crow has the right to own a massive home. And I don’t blame her for wanting a six-car attached garage. After all, she has to have some place to keep all the lawnmowers.

Scott Stein is editor of When Falls the Coliseum and runs the humor site STEINLINES. He is author of the novels Lost and Mean Martin Manning. His short fiction, book reviews, and essays have been published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, The G.W. Review, Liberty, National Review, PopMatters.com, and Art Times. He is a professor of English at Drexel University. Scott tweets @sstein.

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7 Responses to “Eco-friendly rockers not all so eco-friendly”

  1. Even with solar power, she’d literally have to soak up the sun to power that place.

  2. I thought all she wanted to do was have some fun. Clearly, we were mislead on that issue, as well.

  3. I bet all her “fans” did like Lance Armstrong and rode bicycles to her concerts. How much pollution drove into those parking lots?

  4. I wonder how many emissions escape from her massive pie hole as she bleats off key at her concerts?

  5. Oh come on. Are you really surprised? The paragons of green like Al Gore and others are anything but. They fly everywhere instead of taking the bus or cargo ship. Their houses use more energy than the new Dallas Cowboy stadium. It’s the typical “do as I say, not as I do”. Entertainers are the worse.

  6. Yes, but I’ll bet she’s saving a ton on toilet paper — you know, just using one square per visit … uuuggghhh!

  7. As pointed out in the great book THE RATIONAL OPTIMIST, lots of people these days whine about “food mileage” i.e. the idea that whenever food travels a long time to get to your plate, more oil is burned and more global peace is smashed apart. But as the book’s author notes, there is (curiously) never any outrage about “T-shirt mileage” or “laptop mileage” or “recliner mileage.” How odd.

    In that light, I’m willing to bet that Sheryl Crow has a a lot of “stuff” and “stuff mileage” in her 10,000 square-foot palace: Guitars, amplifiers, microphones, T-shirts, carpet, flooring, beds, towels, ottomans, etc. No doubt plenty of oil was burned and plenty affronts to social/environmental justice occurred in the procurement of all her crap. Certainly far more burnt oil and shattered lives than triggered by lowly plebeians like me or Scott.

    My guess, and WFTC’s Daniel Kalder has written about this topic better than I ever could, is that many green, secular heroes are unwittingly (and ironically) acting out Christian values that are hard-wired into our psyche, such as atonement for the deadly sin of gluttony.

    How funny then that these supposedly secular types forget all about the sins of pride, extravagance, and pride/vainglory.

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