Google’s Chris Sacca posts a brilliant visual representation of the energy cost of shipping in bottled water from abroad. Ick.
I just left a comment there about my buddy Hedgehog’s verbal visualization of oil and water. I also did the usual transitive bitching about Bisphenol A.
Meh. So, are you going to slather a comparable amount of oil over your groceries each time you drive to the grocery store?
Or how about when the ambulance takes you to the hospital? How much oil would you be willing to pour on your open wound?
Let’s say you don’t drink imported bottled water. Your local water processing plant has to be maintained by workers who have to drive there. How much oil would be fair to put in our drinking water?
Oh, and let’s not forget about all the water we shipped to Katrina victims. Be sure and put the appropriate amount of oil in their bottled water, too.
Shall I continue?
Nonchalant Savant — coolest name ever.
I don’t think the argument is to avoid all products & activities that use energy; obviously you’d be left with nothing.
The argument is simply to be aware of the energy cost of what you consume — especially because that cost often isn’t easy to see.
Frankly it would be great to see the energy cost of local water on a per-liter basis — I’ll bet it’s less than Evian, but who knows? This is exactly the point.
The point, nonchalant savant, is not to eliminate waste but to minimize it as much as possible while keeping other value parameters in mind. The choice between bottled water and using my existing tapwater and a Kleen Kanteen does not disturb any other parameters, and since the energy of transport was mainly from gravity, and the energy of processing also contributes to the parameter of health, my educated guess is that in urban areas, and areas with strong water tables, the local processed water is in fact a superior choice without creating much trouble beyond mere inconvenience. That does not apply to your other examples, to say the least.
Multivariable calculus everybody! Multivariable calculus.
Oh, and the reason I came back–a supporting excerpt from The Ethical Gourmet.
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