Drive don’t walk

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The newspapers have been full of the latest climate change predictions. It seems temperatures are rising faster than the scientists had been expecting. This will melt the icecaps more quickly. As the water rises, land will flood. This will force people to move. Conflict is almost inevitable. Of course, it’s inconvenient to believe such scare stories because, if they were true, we might have to change. And, let’s face it, no one wants to change unless they absolutely have to. So while we’re busy not changing, a few are buying environmentally friendly vehicles, hoping that might be enough to save the planet. After all, these vehicles cause less pollution. That’s got to count for something.

Well, talking about counting, a new study has been trying to calculate whether it’s better to walk or drive. Now that has your attention. It’s common sense that the planet would be saved faster if we all left our personal transport at home and walked wherever we need to go. If it’s a longer journey, there are always taxis, buses and trains. If we wanted to, we could organize our lives to reduce the need to travel. But there’s a problem.

Walking is good for you

Some fitness experts say there’s no better form of exercise. A brisk walk raises the heart rate and burns calories.

What’s wrong with this picture? Well, a significant number of studies confirm people feel hungry after exercising and, more often than not, eat when they stop. The sensible eat less calories than they burned off. That way, they don’t put weight on. But the majority eat more calories than they burned. They never lose weight. The question is where the food comes from.

Food production

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If you go on to the average farm, you find tractors, trucks, balers and all manner of different pieces of machinery, all of which burn gas and pollute the atmosphere. If there are animals, a lot of electricity is consumed, particularly during the winter. Then there’s all the food the animals eat and all the fertilizer that goes on to the land. And the crops have to be gathered in and the animals moved for slaughter. The food is processed, stored and then brought to your local stores. A vast amount of energy and fuel has been spent to get that good to shelves near you.

The more food you eat, the more the environment suffers. It then becomes a vicious cycle. You may put on weight so you eat more. You may exercise, make yourself hungry and you eat more. The truth is that eating less is better for the environment. You should sit on a couch and diet. If forced to leave the house, drive everywhere. Walking and exercising is bad for the environment.

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