Members of Pearl Jam Will Likely Be Dead by the Time They 'Mitigate' the Carbon Impact of Their 2009 Tour

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Pearl Jam's efforts to reduce its carbon footprint can be traced back to when Stone Gossard sacrificed this sheep to the god Mookie Blaylock.
Long known for its environmental activism and philanthropy, Pearl Jam has taken a cue from other bands like Dave Matthews and Coldplay, and is now seeking to offset the carbon impact from their last world tour by donating $210,000 to have trees planted in and around Puget Sound.

The partnership with the Cascade Land Conservancy, announced on Monday, has gotten them a lot of positive press, with columnist Nicole Brodeur, among others doling out the "atta-boys."

But it's worth taking a look at how long it will take for the estimated 5,474 tons of carbon that were already released into the atmosphere as a consequence of the tour to be absorbed.

Turns out, it's going to take a while.

According to Michael Totten, the climate expert who helped Pearl Jam calculate the carbon footprint of its last tour--which includes the band's own emissions and those of its fans--it will take roughly 50 years for the 33 acres of new trees to absorb all that carbon from the atmosphere. That's roughly 8,577,010 spins of "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town."

Of course, Eddie and company are going to be nonagenarians, or pushing up daisies, by the time that happens. They also will have gone on countless additional tours. Using the Rolling Stones as a model for how long a past-their-prime rock band will perform, Pearl Jam is obviously going to be in the tree-planting business for a very long time.

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