Apparently driving a mile to work is less polluting than is walking to work...unless you drive one of those "monster" cars.
"Balderdash!" those who worship at the altar of environmentalism cry out. Not allowing the facts to interfere with their ideology, they are deceived by appearances.
In an interesting compilation of research, the Walter B. Gerken Professor Emeritus in Economics and Management at the Merage School of Business at the University of California-Irvine, Richard McKenzie, examined what happens when the calories burned in walking are replaced. As it ends up, walking to work pollutes the atmosphere 150% to 200% more than driving a car.
Growing crops and raising animals so that they can be consumed and digested by humans involves a food-supply chain that now extends to all corners of the earth and consumes a lot of energy.
Rather than "feel" about it, as those who worship at the altar of environmentalism are wont to do, McKenzie considers facts:
- Most farm equipment consumes as much gasoline and pollutes the atmosphere as those 18-wheelers on the nation's highways.
- Lots of electricity is required to run irrigation equipment and heating/cooling systems for cattle barns, pig or poultry pens, and animal waste disposal plants.
- Nearly 20% of the fossil energy burned annually in the United States is by the nation's food industry.
- Carbon-based energy goes into the production of food regardless of whether it is harvested, transported, shelved, consumed, or thrown away. Only 50% to 67%, of the food produced on the farm is consumed.
- The single largest for of waste found in the nation's landfills is food that consumers have tossed into their trash bins.
Concluding his article, McKenzie's quotes the Professor of Engineering at the University of California-Irvine and environmentalist, Derek Dunn-Rankin, who states:
[Dunn-Rankin]...computes that a 180-pound person walking one mile
to and from work at a pace of two miles per hour will burn 200 calories
above the 2,000 calories burned each day to maintain the body's basic
metabolism. However, the production of those 200 calories in food takes
fifteen to twenty times as much energy in the form of fossil fuels. This
means that driving a high fuel economy car (40 miles per gallon) will use,
in fossil fuel energy, only about two-thirds to one half the energy that
the person uses in replacing the calories expended on walks. (Heavier
walkers use even more energy when they walk and when they replace
the greater calories they expend in moving their weight.) Energy use
and pollution do not have a one-to-one correspondence, which causes
Dunn-Rankin to conclude, "My bottom line would be that walking can
be 1.5 to 2 times more polluting than driving (if you use a high mileage
car). If you use a monster car, you are better off walking always.
Let the discussion begin...
To read Professor Richard B. McKenzie's study, click on the following link:
"Why Walking to Work Can Be More Polluting Than Driving to Work"