Well, there are ten days until the official publication date of the paperback Republican War on Science (August 28). And I have decided, based on the suggestion of an e-correspondent, to do a countdown here on the blog, adding a relevant new angle, analysis, or update every day. So here’s the first:
I am doing a book tour over the course of September, and having just booked the travel, I can now calculate that it will require flying some 11,000 miles. Back in July when I flew over to London, folks really kicked my butt about the size of my carbon footprint, and rightly so. And so I decided that this time around, I would purchase offsetting credits. I’ve just picked up 20,000 airline miles–or 7,500 pounds of CO2–worth of offsets from TerraPass. (Thanks to Jon Winsor for suggesting this.) Of course I realize that all sorts of assumptions go into calculating just how many credits one has to buy to offset X number of miles in the air. But I figure that if I buy to cover almost double the amount of actual miles, I should be on the safe side.
Incidentally, let me add that I do not believe that individual virtue, alone, will suffice enough to solve the global warming problem. Without endorsing any particular policy solution, it’s clear we’re going to have to combine mitigation and adaptation. It’s equally clear we will have to foster technological innovation and create incentives for greater energy efficiency, even as we also transition towards more renewable sources. These are mega-scale changes that cannot be effected by any single individual. But all of that notwithstanding, the London experience convinced me that I ought to be more thoughtful about my own carbon emissions, especially since I fly so much. So, this will be the start of my carbon neutral flying, and my thanks go out to all of the commenters who helped wake me up to this issue (albeit a bit late, I admit).
Meanwhile, the book tour itself is shaping up to be quite a blast–and a blur. Just added a night out with Drinking Liberally San Diego to the list….