- Arts & Literature
- Science & Technology
By Abbas Panjwani
By Jonathan Tomlin
Will.i.am dropped in to Oxford University on Monday to discuss climate change – in a private helicopter.
The Black Eyed Peas star met with Myles Allen, a climate expert at the School of Geography and Environment.
The mentor of BBC show The Voice landed at the University Parks, before cycling to the Radcliffe Observatory weather centre.
The artist’s 286 mile round trip from London was criticised for using 71.5 gallons of fuel, and pumping three- quarters of a tonne of CO2 into the at- mosphere, the amount an average UK resident uses in a month.
But Myles Allen said: “I have no problem whatsoever with him travelling by whatever means he chooses. Whatever the Greens may have you believe, we aren’t going to solve the problem of climate change by worrying about individual carbon budgets.
“Burning carbon slower may make people feel better, but it won’t solve the problem.
“We won’t solve the problem until we understand a lot better than we do now who climate change is actu- ally affecting and how – which is what the Weatherathome experiment is all about.”
He added that the helicopter was probably used so the artist could reach Taunton for the Olympic torch relay.
Weatherathome is led by Professor Allen and seeks to understand how climate change is affecting people in specific areas.
OUSU Environment and Ethics Chair Daniel Tarry said: “Will’s decision to come to Oxford by helicopter has clearly had the desired effect in that people are talking about his visit.
“Hopefully he will be taking steps to mitigate the negative impact on the environment that such forms of transport have.”
Will.i.am is Director of Creative Innovation at computer company Intel.
Allen said: “I enjoyed meeting Will, he’s clearly an interesting chap, and we appreciate Intel setting this up.”
He added: “It was inspiring to see that Will was so enthusiastic and well informed.”