Sunday, August 5, 2007

It may be better for the environment to drive than to walk

I came across this interesting news which says: Walking does more than driving to cause global warming. Seems like it's a good reason to get a Lamborghini if you are rich hahaha...

Energy intensive food production methods now means more carbon is emitted to provide a person with calories burnt off during the walk than for him to drive the same distance. Having lots of exercise and then eating a bit more food is not good for the global atmosphere. Eating less and driving to save energy is better. Much of the blame is placed on meat prooduction, but not restricted to that. People have talk about choosing organic beef to avoid the intensive farming conditions, but it seem to be a worse alternative as organic beef is the most damaging because organic cattle emit more methane.

Cutting out meat and going vegan helps. To further save the environment, Goodall suggests reducing the amount of processed and imported food, boycotting supermarkets, and eating less.

Here are other surprising "myths" about the environmental protection:
- Traditional nappies are as bad as disposables. Throwaway nappies make up 0.1 per cent of landfill waste, the cloth variety are a wastes energy, clean water and detergent.
- Paper bags cause more global warming than plastic. They need much more space to store so require extra energy to transport them from manufacturers to shops.
- Diesel trains in rural Britain are more polluting than 4x4 vehicles. Douglas Alexander said: “If ten or fewer people travel in a Sprinter [train], it would be less environmentally damaging to give them each a Land Rover Freelander and tell them to drive”.
- Burning wood for fuel is better for the environment than recycling it, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs discovered.
- Organic dairy cows are worse for the climate. They produce less milk so their methane emissions per litre are higher.
- Someone who installs a “green” lightbulb undoes a year’s worth of energy-saving by buying two bags of imported veg, as so much carbon is wasted flying the food to Britain.
- Trees, regarded as shields against global warming because they absorb carbon, were found by German scientists to be major producers of methane, a much more harmful greenhouse gas.

*Faint* It seems doing the exact opposite of "normal suggested environment protection measures" are helping the environment. I don't know who to believe. I hope this is not, again, motivated by $$$.

News source: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article2195538.ece

8 comments:

Travegan said...

But that's only the energy burnt in fuel, how about the manufacturing of the car and road maintenance and spare parts when there's a problem with the car etc? Similar problems can be found with the rest of the arguments. May not be motivated by $$$ but probably by inertia, trying to find excuses not to live eco-friendly.

Veggie Bun said...

Hehe.. travegan, if we go by your argument, then ppl will be asking how abt the energy consumed "manufacturing" babies, since pregnant women would also be consuming more energy/food. So we all should not give birth, and then less carbon dioxide released to the atmosphere. Just kidding lah..

No wonder Buddha is so brilliant teaching us the karma. Everything has a cause and effect and it's really never ending.

Travegan said...

Heh, well, of course it's true the best environmental act would be to die, and reproduction might just be the worst thing to do for the environment. Anyhow, did this person also count how many calories is used when driving? Even if they did, for it to be of any value one would have to eat less, and I think most people who opt to drive don't do that but just get fat and unhealthy... of course that may lead them to die earlier which might be positive. Hmm.

Veggie Bun said...

Haha.. true.. die early can actually save environment.

dreamy said...

i dun believe dying early can actually help. In the sense that energy is neither created nor destroyed and it will be returned to the environment, and all the elements that make us up too return to the environment :)

Edanator said...

The most ironic thing, Rujoon, is that the CO2-emission from "walking" is calculated by replacing the calories with ... beef. :-D

Would be interesting to see the same calculation using locally grown vegetables.

Besides that, Travegan has got a good point. Can add all the energy that goes into making roads, bridges, signs, tunnels, parking garages, road repair and bling-bling.

Finally, don't forget all the other crap that is coming out from a car. I find that this comparison is stupid.

Veggie Bun said...

Haha.. the problem is a large percentage of the population in USA are not vegan/vegetarian. So, they use beef... :P Indeed it will be interesting if someone comes up with a study where the whole world's population are veg*...

dreamy said...

Hmmm... yea I didn't thought of the other crap that comes out of a car!

Looks like there's no excuse to drive and be more environmentally friendly hehe... unless the car is water or solar powered.

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