RE: [asa] CO2 in Food Production...

From: Jon Tandy <>
Date: Mon Dec 07 2009 - 18:27:20 EST

Absolutely, a lot of factors. However, I don't think the production of the
auto counts. Most people would own the car for other reasons, regardless of
whether I could bike or walk to work sometimes. But delivery and production
of gas and oil vs. production of food seems reasonably to tip the balance in
favor of walking, contrary to the assertion that started this whole

And yes, we finally had winter set in - it will poke above freezing a few
times this week. I would love to ride public transit of some kind and work
on the laptop on the way to work, but that's an impossibility here.

Jon Tandy

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, December 07, 2009 12:38 PM
To: Jon Tandy
Subject: RE: [asa] CO2 in Food Production...

If one wants to multiply the complicating factors, they would need to do it
on both sides for the sake of consistency. So if we take into account the
energy that delivers unprocessed food from field to plate, we would also
need to account for energy that delivers gasoline from crude oil wells to
its processed state in your gas tank. (& the fact that your car has to be
manufactured in the first place --which will be a smashingly decisive boot
print right up front compared to what it took to make your walking shoes for
you.) Without all the hard data, I'm reasonably certain autos lose this
contest. Having said all this, science & math can clarify just how big a
gap there is, though. And I should take care in the bravado of my
pro-bicycle-biased response that some gaps may not be as big as I would like
to think. In my case my whole family (4 of
us) drive in the same car to school & work (the same place for all four of
 And we don't drive an SUV, but a car that gets about average gas mileage.
Given our shared vehicle, our auto foot print is a fraction of the average.

(Now factor in that our family is not above cheese-puffs & burgers... and
well, maybe my limited fair-weather biking doesn't win by as big a margin as
I like to

But I'm with you Iain --though I wimp out during our wintertime here and hit
the gas-guzzling highways with everyone else. I think more (but perhaps not
all) of the complicating factors will end up favoring the pedestrians and
especially the cyclists. (One other related corollary: city folks are
often healthier than their rural counterparts because we rural & semi-rural
folks drive everywhere, distances being what they are. Whereas city folks
put in a lot more walking and are less likely to even own a car.

And Jon, you might accrue some hospital bills trying to walk that far (in
cold weather no less?) We have less of an excuse than you for not cycling
since we have only a six mile commute.


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Received on Mon Dec 7 18:27:58 2009

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