I made a sad discovery yesterday. I attended a class on ecological footprints and I decided to measure my own remains. Turned out to be 6.6 global hectares and compared to my last measure, which I did 2,5 years ago, it has doubled! Lately, when reading and hearing about how frustrated and stressed some feel regarding the climate change and what to do to prevent it, I’ve suspected that the real issue has been a slight exaggeration. Not so anymore. My body actually feels stressed and I feel upset that this score (it is exactly that, a score among many, but one of the better measurements of how one’s consumption influences the Earth) of mine actually doubled although I’ve tried to live in a sustainable and ecologic way.
So I started troubleshooting, that is looking for the reasons to this increase and I found two: the use of cars and flying, two things that are not merely comfort issues but necessities. I have to travel in my work in order to attend events and to conduct audience research. I guess I don’t have to fly to Amsterdam in May, but driving or taking the train means less hours at work. Lately though, I’ve wondered what it would be like to arrange conferences and meetings say in Second Life. I know students who have their classes in SL are generally satisfied and happy with it (it was tested at Åbo Akademi last semester), could it be a model for work meetings as well? Being a sociologist, I’m kinda skeptical. And as for the use of car, it’s frustrating that it’s out of my control. I’d love to have the bus as my primary transportation vehicle, like I did for 7 years when studying, but it’s hard with the current bus routes in the countryside (on Saturdays, they’re leaving once an hour to town, the last one way too early at 17:30, and on Sundays, nada, zip, rien.). I could always approach the local politicians and/or the bus companies but oh well, it’s easier not to make a fuss and jump in the car. Sadly enough.