When I read the headline that Richard Branson’s Virgin airline would begin testing biofuel in early 2008, I thought, “Sure, it will. That’s so far away, he’s planning on us forgetting about it by then.” Then I remembered that it is 2008 and that I have to stop writing 2004 on the two checks I now write a year.
Which means Sir Richard must be serious. So serious, in fact, that late February has been cited as the date of the planned London-Amsterdam flight, which will use 80% conventional jet fuel and 20% biofuel from an unnamed but supposedly sustainable source. (I vote they use Soylent Green. Hey, I’m not far off.) My question is, why only 20%? With over 50 billion people served at McDonald’s alone, doesn’t that give us enough excess french fry grease to power our entire air fleet? With the enormous — and strange — array of bio-diesel sources available to us, Sir Richard should be able to go whole hog on his promise. Twenty percent? Eh, I guess I should be happy someone’s doing something. Unlike some people.