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The Green Life: The Torch Warms the World

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April 09, 2008

The Torch Warms the World

FreedomtorchlrThe Olympic torch arrived in San Francisco yesterday, its only North American stop on a 85,000 mile jet-fueled journey around the world.

We did some calculating, and the little flame that could will wrack up roughly 4000 tons of carbon emissions by the time it arrives in Beijing on August 8—and that’s not including the emissions from the bus forced to transport the normally foot-powered torch when things got hairy during the Paris leg of the relay.

To put the number in perspective, the torch’s tour will use the equivalent of over 400,000 gallons of gasoline and produce the annual emissions of 665 cars. If the Olympics folks feel bad about all that greenhouse gas, they can plant a few trees to offset the carbon: 93,000 of them, to be exact. -- Della Watson and Michael Fox

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