Tag: sustainability (page 1 of 4)

Reducing long-distance travel

I agree with what Simon Jenkins is saying here about focusing on the ‘reduce’ part of sustainable travel. However, it does sound a bit like victim-blaming to say that people outside of London travel mainly by car.

We travel primarily by car because of the lack of other options. Infrastructure is important, including outside of our capital city.

It is an uncomfortable fact that most people outside London do most of their motorised travel by car. The answer to CO2 emissions is not to shift passengers from one mode of transport to another. It is to attack demand head on by discouraging casual hyper-mobility. The external cost of such mobility to society and the climate is the real challenge. It cannot make sense to predict demand for transport and then supply its delivery. We must slowly move towards limiting it.

One constructive outcome of the Covid pandemic has been to radically revise the concept of a “journey to work”. Current predictions are that “hybrid” home-working may rise by as much as 20%, with consequent cuts in commuting travel. Rail use this month remains stubbornly at just 65% of its pre-lockdown level. Office blocks in city centres are still half-empty. Covid plus the digital revolution have at last liberated the rigid geography of labour.

Climate-sensitive transport policy should capitalise on this change. It should not pander to distance travel in any mode but discourage it. Fuel taxes are good. Road pricing is good. So are home-working, Zoom-meeting (however ghastly for some), staycationing, local high-street shopping, protecting local amenities and guarding all forms of communal activity.

Source: Train or plane? The climate crisis is forcing us to rethink all long-distance travel | The Guardian

Microcast #094 — Solarpunk vs technocratic pharaohs


A thematic look at sustainable futures, from equitable approaches to chimeric fetuses and phallic spaceships.

Show notes

See also: Bright green, blight green, and lean green futures (Open Thinkering)

Image: Solarpunk Flag by @Starwall@radical.town

Background music: Shimmers by Synth Soundscapes (aka Mentat)

The most sustainable foods?

I’m surprised at this list from The Guardian, which includes red meat. As of February, I don’t eat fish (or shellfish) so mussels are off the list for me as well.

What is important, I think, is the bit at the bottom about waste food. I’ve started putting coffee grounds on the garden, and that banana skin curry sounds… interesting!

If, as a planet, we stopped wasting food altogether, we’d eliminate 8% of our total emissions – so one easy way to eat for the planet would be to tackle that, Steel points out. That could be through preserving and making stock from meat and fish bones – but it could also be as simple as eating as much of a fruit or vegetable as possible. “The skin, the seeds, the leaves – these are where the phytonutrients are,” she says, citing Nigella’s banana skin curry as an example. Supporting companies which are repurposing waste – surplus bread into beer, surplus fruit into condiments and chutneys – is another easy win.

Source: Eat this to save the world! The most sustainable foods – from seaweed to venison | The Guardian