Although I like trees as much as the next person, I’ve always thought that the Rainforest attracted particularly obnoxious saviors (Madonna and Elton John leap readily to mind).

I wouldn’t go to a Save the Rainforest soiree for love or money–and that was before things got raunchy. You see, that naughty old rainforest is now the beneficiary of pornography. 

“In a world in which rock stars can set themselves up, and actually have people accept them, as moral authorities,” explains Brit journalist Theodore Dalrymple, “it is hardly surprising that pornography has become a charitable activity.”

It seems that two Norwegian pornographers, Tommy Hol Ellingsen and Leona Johansson, make films of themselves having sex and sell them over the internet. The project is fetchingly called “F— for the Rainforest,” and about 80 percent of the proceeds go to the naughty old rainforest.

“In the first six months of its operation,” Dalrymple notes, “it received a subsidy from the Norwegian government–though to be fair, the grant was given only on the knowledge that the couple envisioned an ‘alternative’ approach to ecological charity work. The word ‘alternative,’ it seems, is sufficient to loosen Norway’s public purse strings.”

The “ethical pornographers,” according to Dalrymple, felt that many environment groups were not enough fun. But the rainforest pornographers may be having too much fun. At the concert, Ellingsen shouted, “How far are you willing to go to save the planet?” Even for Norway, this was a bit much. They were taken to court, though no sentence was imposed. Ellingsen complained that that Norway’s prime minister is “a clergyman who didn’t like jokes about public decency.” FFF has since left Norway for Germany.

Dalrymple comments:

“More than 50 years ago, Freidrich Hayek wrote that a social conscience might be but a mask for individual selfishness and license: one’s own personal conduct, after all, can scarcely compete in importance with the fate of the world. Ellingsen turns Hayek’s proposition inside out, complaining that his public sex act worried more people than did the destruction of the rain forests. In other words, either one favors Ellingsen having sex in public, or one favors the destruction of the rain forests: no other possibility exists. By this rhetorical blackmail, it is possible to push back the frontiers of the permissible indefinitely, for once a man has declared himself to be doing something for the sake of a good cause, his actions are beyond criticism.”