Jann Wenner is Insufficiently Green

The New York Times reports today that despite switching to what it calls “carbon neutral” paper for printing, Rolling Stone magazine is still getting attacked by activists for not changing over to recycled paper, despite the poor print quality:

Just about every major magazine has made some sort of nod to global warming, and Rolling Stone plans to do so in its June 28 issue: on top of the requisite interview with former Vice President Al Gore and an essay by the environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the magazine will start printing on paper that is said to have less of a negative impact on the environment.

But as Rolling Stone and others try to be green, they draw criticism from environmentalists who think that if this is walking the walk, it is doing so with a pronounced limp.

Rolling Stone will be printed on what it calls “carbon neutral paper,” because it is made through a process that the magazine claims adds no carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. The paper, which is considerably thinner than what Rolling Stone uses now, is made by a Canadian mill, Catalyst Paper, that the magazine says has reduced greenhouse-gas emissions by 82 percent since 2005 and been cited by the World Wildlife Fund for its conservation efforts.


Eric Bates, deputy managing editor of Rolling Stone, said, “We think recycled paper is great.”

But, he added, “we’re publishing some of the world’s greatest photographers and artists,” and the print quality on recycled paper does not do them justice. “What we’re trying to do is what we can do. We can’t put out the magazine we put out on recycled paper.”

But, of course, anything as decadent as aesthetic quality can’t compete with the green activist mandate: recycle or else.