My New Year's Resolution: an Inconvenient Truth


The other day I watched Al Gore’sAn Inconvenient Truth documentary about global warming. It’s a compelling message, one that is demonstrated simply and effectively. We can’t go on using the Earth’s resources as we currently are.

Apparently the current president, Mr George Bush, said he wouldn’t watch the film. A case of political dogma and vested interest getting in the way - or stupidity. After all, if Bush doesn’t know the message Gore is taking to the world, how can he fight against it?

Anyway, there’s not a lot I can do to influence Bush and other world leaders. But I can contribute to the saving of our planet. My planet. My children’s and grand children’s planet. Your planet. Our planet.

So here’s what I’m going to do:

1) All powered gadgets and appliances at home will be switched off at the wall socket.
2) Draft-proof the entrance hall in my house by hanging curtains.
3) Use my car less

What will the impact of these simple decisions be? On the first and second I have no idea. But I’ve been doing some maths on the third decision and have come up with some interesting numbers.

My car is a 2001 Audi A4 1.8T Avant. It generates 197g of CO2 per Km travelled. The Studio is 15 miles from my house, within easy cycling distance, a 30 mile round trip (or 48Km if you’re based in a European country such as, say, Croatia :-)

So one daily round trip creates 5.95Kg of CO2. Shall we say 6Kg, for convenience?


I weigh (after a year of not exercising much) about 12 stone. A stone, in case you don’t know, is 14lbs (pounds) which, in metric measures, is 6.3636Kg… I’ll call that 6Kg too. So my 12 stone is 12×6 = 72Kg.

Each round trip produces 6Kg CO2, so if I cycle to the Studio and back twelve times, then I’ll have saved the production of 72Kg of CO2 - in other words, or other numbers, I’ll have saved the equivalent of my body weight in carbon dioxide!

Double wow!

Some more numbers. With petrol currently selling for around 90p per litre (the equivalent of £4.05 per gallon - no wonder the pumps were changed!) and at approx 30 miles per gallon, each trip costs £4.05. Those same twelve trips will save me 12 x £4.05 = £48.60, which is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. 120 trips will have paid for the bike I just bought to do it all on, and then I’m quids in…

So - what are your New Year’s resolutions?

Whatever they are, have a good one.