Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The road to... well, it's paved with good intentions

Here's some bad news for those of us who think we're doing out bit for the environment: That link will take you to an June 7 AFP posted on Yahoo! News which reports on a study that claims, among other things, that driving an SUV into the city may be no more harmful to the environment than riding in on a largely empty bus or train:
In some circumstances, for instance, it could be more eco-friendly to drive into a city -- even in an SUV, the bete noire of green groups -- rather than take a suburban train. It depends on seat occupancy and the underlying carbon cost of the mode of transport.
Is there no one I can feel smug about and superior to?

We're all sadly used to inconsistent food peril stories: "Coffee is bad for you!" -- "Coffee is OK, but tea is terrible!" -- "No, wait, scientists were right the first time... coffee's bad" -- "Scientists prove that coffee better for you than oxygen."

My wife reads them all. And I have allowed my diet to be modified, here and there, now and then, according to all of this well-meaning advice. (But not coffee. Nobody is touching my morning joe.)

Now, I guess, as the linked story portends, we are going to be showered with inconsistent statements about what's best for the environment.

The problem is that I can measure my actual footprint with a ruler. Measuring my true carbon footprint, though, necessarily requires some interpretation.

Here's my suggestion: According to the newspapers, whatever you eat will surely kill you. On the other hand, eating nothing will also kill you. So... eat what you want. If it make you feel bad, don't eat it anymore.

Let's take the same approach with these "green" stories: Use a little common sense. You don't have to swear eternal fealty to Al Gore to accept that compact fluorescent bulbs are worthwhile because they cost less over time. You don't have to be a raving enviromaniac to know that landfills are icky -- so recycle whatever you can and slow the landfills' growth. Don't water your lawn when it's raining. And always, always make faces from the window of your train at every passing SUV.

You have to have some fun.

1 comment:

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

okay that's it! i am going to drive my suv AND apply for a carbon tax credit! thanks for the idea curmy! bwahahahahahah

smiles, bee