In any other campaign, a pledge to plant 98% fewer trees than your rival would be seen as laughable. But this isn't any other campaign.
In fact in this campaign the two major media outlets covering the elections were both happy to spew out the line that Boris Johnson had pledged '10,000 new trees' for the capital.
David Cameron stealing a tree
Speaking to the BBC, Boris said:
"in the last few years a third of (London) boroughs have seen a decline in the number of street trees - the mayor has done nothing to reverse this trend."
Well nothing that is except to plant 400,000 trees since 2004 and to make a pledge to plant a total of 1 million trees by 2012. By comparison, Boris would plant around only 10,000 of the 600,000 trees due to be planted.
Despite this The Evening Standard seemed more than convinced. For them, Boris pitiful announcement was in fact the start of a new green dawn for London. They explained:
"A tree lined street has only 10-15 per cent of the dust of a street without trees, as well as being 6-10C cooler. They absorb some traffic noise as well as providing habitats for local wildlife. Street trees also mitigate the effects of global warming by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen, cooling streets that are suffering from the "heat island" effect and by soaking up rainwater from flash floods. Urban trees can confer economic benefits as well, the Tories say. They point to estate agent's claims that the presence of trees in an urban area correlates with higher property values, perhaps as much as five to 15 per cent higher."
So more trees equals cleaner air and extra money in your pocket. All of which must mean an Evening Standard endorsement for Ken Livingstone can only be days away.