The Olympic flame for the 2012 London Olympics will burn green, like an emerald. To be less poetic, the organisers want a carbon neutral flame that is fuelled by environmentally products such as tree cuttings.
Wants and desires of course do not necessarily match reality. This is all but a pipe dream if scientists cannot find a way to make the green flame burn as brightly as a normal flame.
The London Organising Committee and EDF Energy have begun to search for a suitable biofuel for the flame.
David Stubbs, the London Organising Committee's Head of Sustainability, said:
"The Olympic flame is potentially quite an energy consumer. We are looking at alternative fuels to help reduce the impact of that flame. It is early days yet. We do not know what fuel to use."
Gareth Wynn, of EDF Energy, said:
"We are looking for something that has the right look and feel. There is a balance to be struck because a really clean flame can be difficult to see. We have to find a balance so that it provides the right fuel but can be seen.
I cannot tell you yet what the solution is going to be and what the gas is but we are going to find it. We have made a commitment to find it. The flame is such an iconic image that we have to get it right."
Let us trust that the money, effort and experiments that are used in the search are not more energy/environmentally wasteful than that of just opting to use the conventional flame.