Carr, Carbon, Europe, and Virtual Worlds

The past few weeks have been interesting from a carbon perspective. Here’s why:

  • I bought an Air France ticket from Manchester to Paris and immediately after confirming the purchase the Air France website tried to up-sell me my carbon offset (for about $27, if I recall correctly). I’ve yet to see this in the US.
  • I attended an Alliance of CEOs meeting where I met an entrepreneur who said “the carbon thing’s really big in Europe,” that Europeans were willing pay roughly 3-5x what Americans will for a given offset, and mused that perhaps there was an arbitrage play therein.
  • I took the Heathrow Express from London and participated in a ten-minute interview with a market researcher (I always like to participate so I can see both sides of market research). One of the questions: “to what extent do you consider the environment impact of your transportation choice to Heathrow?”
  • A Mark Logic staffer told me that he had made a host of changes (including selling his car and buying only local produce) to reduce his carbon footprint. He then used a carbon footprint calculator and determined that he had indeed done quite well. He then included all his air travel and went from something like the 20th percentile to the 90th in terms of carbon generation.
  • I read this article by old friend David Tebbutt in the (English) publication Information World Review entitled, Is Internet Activity Destroying the Planet? Among other interesting points Tebbutt had this tidbit: “What about an avatar in Second Life? A few years ago, Nicholas Carr calculated that one avatar had the same carbon footprint as the average Brazilian.” Wow.

One response to “Carr, Carbon, Europe, and Virtual Worlds

  1. Hi Dave. Good to see I’m on your radar. Nearly got to see you a couple of weeks ago – I was passing through San Carlos en route to my flight home. The embarrassing thing is that I’d flown to California to discuss sustainability issues with some folk. (Yes. We thought about using telepresence but too many people were involved over too long a time period.)

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