Green myths

Dominic Kennedy at Times online has written that Walking to the shops ‘damages planet more than going by car’

The article is centred around the energy cost of food production. I’m increasingly convinced that energy efficiency, and even the development of cleaner energy sources, is just too little, or too much of a long term proposition.

In Climate change and trace gases Hansen et al suggest that due to the possibility of rapid approach to a tipping point (and I would add also the implausibility of stabilising emissions) carbon scrubbing technologies are urgently required.



  1. inel said

    The cherry-picked examples for that 6-week old Times online article would make a quack doctor proud! (No wonder it triggered 380 comments, many along these lines.) The health benefits to our overweight population and financial benefits to our overburdened health service are ignored, let alone the community-building aspects of walking, i.e. you bump into your neighbours and have a chat on the way into and out of town, instead of being isolated in a vehicular bubble.

    Tackling climate change concurrently on as many fronts as possible——increasing energy-efficiency, use of renewables, and carbon sequestration technologies as well as healthier, climate-friendly lifestyles——has knock-on benefits for other issues that are of immediate personal and local concern, such as health and fitness (e.g. not just air quality, but also obesity), breakdown in communities, overstretched police and health services.

  2. ac12 said

    Sure, I’m not about to give up cycling to work. And I’m not about to defend the numbers, or the assumptions (all our energy from beef!).

    But don’t you think the point of the article was that our food (in particular meat) production system is a massive source of carbon emissions? Maybe you didn’t read it as tongue-in-cheek as it came across to me.

    Just this week they decided to replace the polystyrene cups used by vistors with “environmentally friendly” paper cups. Never mind that paper cups take more energy to produce, are heavier and thus more expensive to transport, and that they let your coffee go cold sooner!

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