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Travel the world; use less carbon, see the sights. Don't forget the penguin.
October 15, 2007 3:55 PM   Subscribe

9000 miles by ferry, train, bus, bicycle, horse, foot and car. In a bid to reduce his carbon footprint, Joseph Tame swapped 11 hours in a plane from Japan to England for a month-long adventure across Eurasia. Along the way he has a Chinese Imperial Guard hold a penguin, stays in a Mongolian Yurt, experiences a "road" trip or two, misses some trains, and befriends a chipmunk.
posted by Freaky (25 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Full disclosure: Joseph is one of my cousins. I haven't seen him in over a decade and have nothing to do with his blog aside from reading it.
posted by Freaky at 3:57 PM on October 15, 2007


Use less carbon? You mean use less hydrocarbon fuel? Produce less carbon dioxide? Use of the word "carbon" as a stand in for "global warming = bad" irritates the hell out of me. There is nothing wrong with carbon, the problem is a particular molecule which which has twice as much oxygen as it does carbon anyway!
posted by delmoi at 4:07 PM on October 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


I reduce my carbon footprint by hanging out in my apartment with a smallish number of possessions.

Of course with taking 6 or so flights a year I destroy the planet as well as just about anyone.
posted by MillMan at 4:08 PM on October 15, 2007


Silly bunny. Dontcha know according to many MeFites there are only three ways to reduce your carbon foot print.

Suicide.

Scorn.

Smaller shoes.
posted by tkchrist at 4:12 PM on October 15, 2007


I'm having all the carbon removed from my body to help protect the environment. Top that, Al Gore!
posted by mullingitover at 4:32 PM on October 15, 2007


I hope he didn't build a campfire, sit by a burning fireplace, or eat anything cooked on a gas grill.
posted by The World Famous at 4:37 PM on October 15, 2007


Is it really reducing your carbon emissions when you use your body's own calories? I seem to recall that currently, for every food calorie we consume there is some multiplier of that which comes from petroleum. So for example for every 10 calories you eat, 2500 calories of fossil fuel were used. If that's the case, it doesn't seem to matter what you do: you're still causing pollution.

There's really only a single thing you can do that's truly environmentally friendly: don't breed.
posted by mullingitover at 4:38 PM on October 15, 2007


There's really only a single thing you can do that's truly environmentally friendly: don't breed.

So true. The only way to make sure that we don't destroy the Earth for the next generation is to make sure there is no next generation.
posted by The World Famous at 4:42 PM on October 15, 2007


Shouldn't he have just stayed at home?
posted by smackfu at 4:50 PM on October 15, 2007


Serial killers are the ultimate environmentalists.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:51 PM on October 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


The World Famous writes "So true. The only way to make sure that we don't destroy the Earth for the next generation is to make sure there is no next generation."

Well, wait. There is another way! It's possible to get all the social benefits and sense of fullfillment of having children without the reckless disregard for the environment. So relax, everyone. Your demand for mullingitover's progeny will not go unfulfilled. I shall breed up a mighty army brood of offspring.

However, I'm getting my kids fixed to they can't breed.
posted by mullingitover at 4:51 PM on October 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


The only way to make sure that we don't destroy the Earth for the next generation is to make sure there is no next generation.

Too late! There's already a baby KokuRyu running around. I'm sure that if you have kids, you won't regret it. They're a joy to be around, and we'd all hate to see joy disappear from the world, wouldn't we?

A far simpler solution to reducing your carbon footprint would be to reduce, reuse and recycle. I'm curious to find out if The World Famous drives a car, flies in an airplane, brings a cloth sack when buying groceries, buys locally, eats locally, uses fluorescents, etc.

Reducing greenhouse emissions is possible, but it will mean a radical rethinking of how we live.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:52 PM on October 15, 2007


delmoi: I'm sorry my dumb title irritates you. Maybe it should be "use less oil" or something.

I almost didn't include any mention of carbon emissions; given the snark it's attracted, maybe I should have left it out.
posted by Freaky at 5:20 PM on October 15, 2007


KokuRyu writes "Reducing greenhouse emissions is possible, but it will mean a radical rethinking of how we live."

That's why I'm sure nothing productive will come of our knowledge of our long-term damage to our living environment.

I don't think human civilizations are all that great when it comes to change.

When the Mongols were slaughtering their way across Asia, there were probably quite a few savvy people in Baghdad who saw trouble coming. "We've got to do something drastic to prepare for their invasion," they told their fellow Baghdad citizens, "but preparation will take a radical rethinking of how we live." Shortly after Baghdad was utterly destroyed, they would've said, "See!? We told you." However, their untimely demise prevented them from pointing this out.

In the same vein, I predict humans won't start to take meaningful steps to address greenhouse gas emissions until sea levels have risen by at least 10 meters. Of course by then it'll be too late.

I was never a big fan of Florida. However, losing most of the Netherlands will suck.
posted by mullingitover at 5:21 PM on October 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


1. come up with crazy idea
2. get funding
3. write book!

Nice work if you can get it.
posted by DenOfSizer at 5:34 PM on October 15, 2007


I'm curious to find out if The World Famous drives a car

Not only do I drive a car, I drive the car.

flies in an airplane

I usually sit in the airplane, especially when the seat belt light is on.

brings a cloth sack when buying groceries

Yes, but I don't put any groceries in it.

buys locally

No, I drive way out of town to buy things.

eats locally

No, I only eat when I'm out of town on my buying excursions.

uses fluorescents

I'm soaking in them right now.

etc.

And so forth.
posted by The World Famous at 5:38 PM on October 15, 2007



Heh, friend in UK decided to go by bike:

http://www.saberton.com/
posted by lundman at 6:29 PM on October 15, 2007


Is it really reducing your carbon emissions when you use your body's own calories? I seem to recall that currently, for every food calorie we consume there is some multiplier of that which comes from petroleum. So for example for every 10 calories you eat, 2500 calories of fossil fuel were used. If that's the case, it doesn't seem to matter what you do: you're still causing pollution.

There's really only a single thing you can do that's truly environmentally friendly: don't breed.
posted by mullingitover at 6:38 PM on October 15 [+] [!]


That metric only works if you're lucky enough to live in a country with a massive semi-trailer based infrastructure.

I suppose you could not breed. But it's genetic suicide with an excuse on the order of "I don't want to be a bother to anyone so I'll just off myself." and we all know what The Onion thinks of that.
posted by Sam.Burdick at 6:34 PM on October 15, 2007


This is great!
posted by blacklite at 6:50 PM on October 15, 2007


Sam.Burdick writes "I suppose you could not breed. But it's genetic suicide with an excuse on the order of 'I don't want to be a bother to anyone so I'll just off myself.' and we all know what The Onion thinks of that."

You know who else thought their genes were super important? :P

I am not my genes. Regardless, unless I'm a mutant, and given the overall lack of diversity in the homo sapens species, it's fairly certain that my genes won't end with me.

It would be nice if more people believed that creativity and knowledge, not offspring, are the most important things they can contribute to humanity.
posted by mullingitover at 6:54 PM on October 15, 2007


In non-snark responses, I think this guy had one hella cool adventure.

Which may not have reduced his carbon footprint, but doubtless increased his happiness quotient, always a good thing.
posted by jrochest at 8:32 PM on October 15, 2007


I'm sorry, I can't hear you. I'm covering my ears with the sleeves of my hairshirt.
posted by A dead Quaker at 8:46 PM on October 15, 2007


It would be nice if more people believed that creativity and knowledge, not offspring, are the most important things they can contribute to humanity.
posted by mullingitover at 8:54 PM on October 15 [+] [!]


true... any idiot can make a baby. Most often do...

But the hope is that we can take idiot-spawn and turn them into worthwhile human beings........ perhaps I'm being overly optimistic.
posted by Sam.Burdick at 9:33 PM on October 15, 2007


true... any idiot can make a baby. Most often do...

But the hope is that we can take idiot-spawn and turn them into worthwhile human beings........ perhaps I'm being overly optimistic.


I've never understood how any decent person could think about making this argument. Isn't it funny how the people we think are "not idiots" are those that most resemble us in diction, skin color, and body fat percentage? Trust me, the world would be a much better place if the only people that bred were Richard Feynman fans fond of making Simpsons references.

Uh-huh.
posted by nasreddin at 10:25 PM on October 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've never understood how any decent person could think about making this argument. Isn't it funny how the people we think are "not idiots" are those that most resemble us in diction, skin color, and body fat percentage? Trust me, the world would be a much better place if the only people that bred were Richard Feynman fans fond of making Simpsons references.

Uh-huh.
posted by nasreddin at 12:25 AM on October 16 [1 favorite +] [!]


dude,

entirely NOT what I was saying... nice try though.
posted by Sam.Burdick at 6:53 AM on October 16, 2007


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