Monday, September 03, 2007

Walk Score & Walking Footprints:
Finding useful crap near you


The boys over at the oildrum recently reported on a new website called WalkScore. It basically finds all of the restaurants, bars, movie theaters, parks, bookstores, coffeshops, etc near you and then calculates their distance from your home address. It's a good tool to use if you want to find a neighborhood to move to or even find stores near you (wherever you are) that you didn't know existed. I'm sure I will be using this a lot whenever I travel. Heck this might even be a good aid in choosing a location for a business.

Recently the Times Online reported that walking produces more CO2 than driving. The problem with their study is that they calculated the emissions of the entire life cycle of beef production (which happens to use 6 barrels of oil per cow) while ignoring the life cycle costs of automobile maintenance and construction. They also assume that everyone eats a pure meat diet and walks as far as they drive. There are many other flaws in this argument highlighted at TreeHugger. The Times Online study does indirectly illustrate a critically important point though.

Conservation seems to the hip thing in Hollywood and nothing illustrates that better than Sheryl Crows recommendation of one square of toilet paper per restroom visit. Conservation is also the main focus of many liberal politicians like Al Gore. Unfortunately while conservation and efficiency will play an important role it will never be able to solve the problem of climate change. According to Chevron conservation won't even solve our supply problem:
Efficiency, improvements, and conservation are part of the solution, but will not, in themselves, meet the need for more energy.
Again, I'm not belittling conservation efforts. Conservation will play a key role but it is simply not the 800 lb gorilla that will change society and "save the environment". Something much more revolutionary in science and politics will have to take place. I will back this statement up with hard data in future posts.

Sources:
TimesOnline, Walking to the shops ‘damages planet more than going by car’, August 4, 2007
Treehugger, Ask the EcoGeek: Walking Worse than Driving? No., EcoGeek.org on 08. 9.07
FoxNews, Report: Sheryl Crow's Solutions to Global Warming, Monday, April 23, 2007
Digg, Sheryl Crow Suggests Limiting Americans Use To One Square Per Sitting,

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

My walk score is 35. That’s not so bad I should say. This service can be rather useful especially for those who are going to buy a house or just want to estimate their present location. So as it turned out my neighborhood is quite walk able. I have also tried one more service at http://drivescore.fizber.com/. It is called Drive Score. With the help of it you can see how close establishments are by car. My result is 50. Drive Score calculates your score based on the number of places within a convenient driving distance. The greater the number of businesses nearby the higher the drive score.

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