Watching the Olympic flame's progress through London and Paris, Lucy Craymer has some chemical thoughts on the subject...
The Olympic flame seems to have ignited people’s views on the problems in Tibet (she writes) but another major one seems to have been forgotten.
No one seems to have questioned what damage the burning of the Olympic flame and the lanterns through 135 cities or what travelling 137,000km across 20 countries in 130 days will do to the environment.
Although propane has been named the fuel of choice for burning the torch because of its low environmental impact, the flame does produce the dreaded carbon dioxide. Add to this the carbon footprint produced by the necessary 20 vehicle convoy and the specially chartered Air China flight and one has to wonder if the Olympic committee has checked with the European Union on whether it needed to buy some carbon credits before “lighting up”.
So while the Free Tibet protesters look likely to become an integral part of the torches procession, perhaps environmental campaigners need to set up camp right beside them.