Thursday, 31 March 2011

An Evening for the Eco-Glitterati

By LESLIE KAUFMAN New York Times On the one hand, the event had the trappings of a society gorging itself at full tilt: a roaring room of Rolex-wearing men and women in five-inch heels and tight spangly dresses. On the other hand, the purpose was to raise money for the Natural Resources Defense Council, Oceana, Conservation International and the Central Park Conservancy. The evening, the second annual “Bid to Save the Earth,” was hosted by Christie’s and was partly a live auction. Bidders battled energetically to win a day with former President Bill Clinton; guests were told he would accompany them on any outing they wanted, even tag along to do laundry. (That sold for $100,000). They also bid enthusiastically for a chance to fly with the actor Harrison Ford to Los Angeles aboard one of his private planes. (Yes, private planes add significantly to your carbon footprint.) The auction raised more than $1 million. An online auction for the rest of the lots (meet Lady Gaga in Miami, anyone?) continues at until April 7. There was even a fashion show (new this year) where a new collection called Runway to Green was introduced, with severely coiffed models emerging from a rotating cube decorated in a jungle green vine motif. The proceeds from the sales of the clothing, by a mix of designers, will go to environmental causes like planting trees. “The designers have all made a commitment to investigate the sustainable manufacturing practices,” Runway to Green’s Web site states. Which is better, one supposes, than not investigating.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Aircraft carrier for auction.

Mar 29 2011 Ben Mitchell, Scottish Daily Record Ministry of Defence chiefs have put the aircraft carrier Ark Royal up for sale - on an eBay-style auction website. The Royal Navy's old flagship - which was decommissioned just two weeks ago after 25 years of service - is currently being advertised on Sister ship HMS Invincible was towed to a scrapyard in Turkey last week after being sold on the same site. Although the Ark Royal could also be sold for scrap, it may end up as a commercial heliport in London or as a base for special forces security at next year's Olympic Games. And a move could be made to turn it into a nightclub or school in China. Bidders have until 10am on June 13 to put offers forward - with special viewing days arranged for May. They must also tell the MoD what they plan to do with it. The website is run by the Defence Equipment and Support arm of the MoD, who have a budget of £14billion to equip the UK's armed forces. Also up for sale on the site are three Type-42 destroyers, HMS Exeter, HMS Southampton and HMS Nottingham. The current Ark Royal is the fifth vessel to carry the name - the first saw battle in 1588 against the Spanish Armada.