Monday, August 06, 2007

What Should We Do?

My priors on many environmental issues are pretty wishy-washy, which means I can really enjoy some very entertaining analyses of what we ought to do about the problems. This Times article gave me particular pleasure (for its mischief). A few points:

“The troubling fact is that taking a lot of exercise and then eating a bit more food is not good for the global atmosphere. Eating less and driving to save energy would be better.”

Paper bags are worse for the environment than plastic because of the extra energy needed to manufacture and transport them, the Government says.

Diesel trains in rural Britain are more polluting than 4x4 vehicles. Douglas Alexander, when Transport Secretary, 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”

Organic dairy cows are worse for the climate. They produce less milk so their methane emissions per litre are higher

Almost all of this simply exposes that it is hard to optimize for more than one variable at a time.


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