TCH met on 16 September at Rhoda's. Initially, we discussed economy and preparedness for the worst case scenario. In order to move onto our topic for the night of Transport, Erik suggested we have one of our future meetings entirely on Economy. Based on a recommendation of Steve to read the Energy Bulletin, John added a links page to our google group.
Some of the things we talked about: Flying makes up only 2% of global carbon emissions, but that is because most people never fly. Flying can be a huge contributor to a personal carbon footprint, with a single return flight to New Zealand emitting about 10 tonnes per passenger, which is almost the current total yearly per capita footprint in the UK, while a 2 degrees warming target suggests this should come down to 1-2 tonnes per person by 2050, and even less by the end of the century.
The people in the room agreed that the main challenge of having a low transport impact (both from personal travel and from transporting the stuff we buy) is time. Going out of one's way to shop low impact often gets dropped in favour of the faster option, and the way online buying is set up has it's own environmental problems. One of the solutions we discussed is to pick up on what the Strangers have been trialling: to collectively buy dry goods wholesale and have them delivered.
By contrast, low carbon holidays were deemed easier to achieve: with a change in attitude, it's possible to see the slower lower carbon modes of travel (in particular trains) as part of the holiday with it's own attractions (views, sleeper trains, easier to make stopovers at interesting places on the way), although it can suffer from some of the same disadvantages as flying when there are delays. When booked well in advance, the train can be cheaper than flying (http://www.seat61.com)
Next meeting will be on Food. We will start at 19:30 with a bring and share meal. If you'd like to attend contact Erik at http://lgmacweb.env.uea.ac.uk/green_ocean/positions/Buitenhuis/feedback.html
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