Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Greenwash and a wasted oppertunity

I read with interest the first person article from Ben Mitchell of Peter Brett Associates. He talks about PBA reducing emissions but doesn't mention their role in promoting the one-way IDR. He also uses the idea of embodied energy as an excuse not to get a more efficient car; his Volvo does 35 mpg but a Skoda or VW estate will get closer to 50 mpg. Better to avoid using a car at all, public transport or a bike will have a much lower ecological footprint. He says he will fly on business, but if he is traveling within Europe it can be quicker by train as well as having a fraction of the emissions, see www.seat61.com/CO2flights.htm for details.

Ben doesn't mention other ways of reducing energy waste such as insulating houses, which will reduce heat losses and save energy and money. Also switching to a green energy supplier (www.uswitch.com/energy/Green-Energy.html) will encourage investment in renewables and not use up limited fuel resources. Peak oil (http://lifeaftertheoilcrash.net) tells us we may have 30 years of oil left, but with careful use this can change; future generations will wonder how we managed to use in a century what took millions of years to produce. Greenwash is when people pretend to be green but continue to waste scarce resources.

The worst aspect of the one-way IDR is that the millions it will cost could be invested in sustainable transport; make the bus fares cheaper and build cycle paths. The embodied energy represented in demolishing the flyover by the Oracle is huge, and will be disruptive of traffic for years, as well as representing an enormous amount of landfill. The same idiocy is repeated with air travel, building new runways when we won’t have enough fuel to fly is a waste of resources. What a waste, being green is about putting people before profit, and that means reducing waste and being more efficient with resources.

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