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View Diary: CO2-Getting to Work on the Demand Side (129 comments)

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  •  So I'm part of the problem here (5+ / 0-)

    Although I fly a lot less than many of my colleagues I do travel by air at least twice a year and I have a much harder time giving that up than many other things.  All of my family and pretty much anyone I knew prior to 5 years ago lives far enough away from me that air travel is the only reasonable option.  Also I find travel enormously personally rewarding, much more so than owning any kind of physical item.

    But I can't deny that it is a luxury and a costly one in terms of the environment.  I try to make my biggest trips ones that serve some other goal (i.e. education).

    One thing that could be cut is business travel.  My wife went on three trips for work over two weeks - none were trips that she instigated, all were ones she was asked to go on.  Many of these trips are not really necessary in the internet age (some are).  

    High speed rail travel within North America would also be a great.

    "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge with hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

    by matching mole on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:55:25 AM PST

    •  Yes, you are, you sound like a bad, bad (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greengemini, Calamity Jean

      person!!

      OTOH a counterargument goes back decades to when I was attending a small, nutso religious college and one of my religion class professors posed the question "if a wealthy donor magically gave one billion dollars (a freakin' huge amount of $$s back then!) to our college, how should it be spent"?

      Maybe on a new football stadium?  After all, what would Notre Dame do? (yeah, I know, get REAL girlfriends for all the athletes, but that was before the internet era .. . ).

      But no, the answer was to sent EVERY SINGLE STUDENT (presumably via AIRPLANE) overseas for a year.  In the opinion of the professor, that would be the absolutely most important thing for up and coming US college students - namely get out of the American Exceptionalism bubble and expose themselves to what the fuck is going on in the resto of world.

      In retrospect, that's about the only sane thing a religious person has ever said to me.  And it resonates with me to this very day that the more we're able to access the rest of the world via global travel, that's a good thing.  Well worth the trivial amount of carbon emissions that results for sure!!

    •  The guy that got me thinking about the whole (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greengemini, Creosote, ybruti

      flying thing was a researcher at the renewable energy lab in Golden. He wasn't preachy but in working at his house I noticed he did a lot of things that were zero or low carbon. The modest house was 15 years old but used almost no heat, he biked to the bus and rode the bus to work. So I asked him things. Meat, maybe a pound or two total per month. Vacation car pooled to go rafting with friends, once in two years.  

      His complaint was work sending him to conferences. His indulgence was his wife went to see an adult son from a previous marriage. We too will have to fly to see family soon if I want my kids to ever meet relatives.

      America really is a great place for high speed rail. We could have had thousands of miles built by now.

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:59:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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