Environmental Groups Fail To See Humor
As they say... always
read the fine print.
A recent environmental agreement signed by Boeing and Virgin
Atlantic -- which includes the purchase of up to 43 Boeing 787
airliners, as well as a pledge to deliver a biofuel for jets --
also contained a weighty stipulation for Virgin CEO Sir Richard
Branson (right) and Boeing Chairman Jim McNerney to drop some
The Daily Mail reports the clause in the agreement signed April 24
states "The parties hereby agree that each of the signatories will
lose at least one stone [14 lbs] in weight within the next four
years in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 36lb on
the delivery flight."
Branson's communications director, Paul Charles, says the text
was planted in the contract as a joke by staffers, to see if the
men would read the fine print.
"Clearly, neither of them reads contracts properly before they
sign them," he said. "They had no idea they had agreed to lose
weight until after their signatures were down on the dotted line.
They thought it was very funny."
Branson -- whose measurements and weight were helpfully reported
in the Daily Mail (gotta love British media -- Ed.) -- is
classified as overweight, according to the National Institute of
"We are doing our bit to tackle carbon emissions, but losing
weight was an additional element thrown in for added effect,"
Charles added, tongue firmly in cheek. "If you are carrying lighter
people in the plane, you need even less fuel. Perhaps the
Government should consider adopting it as a way to combat obesity
and climate change in one go."
Boeing declined to disclose McNerney's vitals, but did confirm
the Boeing chairman would honor the agreement.
It was meant to be a good-natured joke, but environmentalists
failed to see the humor -- or, at least, the humor intended.
"Branson's fleet produces 7.4 million tonnes of CO2 each year,"
retorts Joss Garman, of the anti-flying group Plane Stupid. "He and
McNerney are both very carbon-obese men, but they seem to have
mistaken a low-carb diet for a low carbon one.
"It's the flying that's the problem, Richard, not the frying,"