Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Planet Earth

I just took the Ecological Footprint Quiz again. My total footprint is 19 acres, and if everyone lived like me, we would need 4.3 planets. In my defense, the average ecological footprint in the US is 24 acres per person. Also, it's almost all due to my air travel, and that's also about the only thing I could substantially change to reduce my footprint. I already eat fairly organically and local and vegetarian, hardly ever drive, and live in a green design home. If I never flew, I would only need 1.7 planets. But then, I wouldn't be a flying kiwi, would I?

Also on the topic of our planet, my bedtime reading at the moment is Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. I highly recommend it. If you've read any of his other books, you'll know what great writer he is. What I like about this book is that he doesn't only explain what scientists know about the world, but how they figured it out, and what happened to them along the way. And I particularly enjoyed the chapter on measuring the earth, but then, I would.

If you haven't heard of him, he's mostly known as a travel writer, but also wrote a very enjoyable book on the history of the English language called Mother Tongue. I should read it again.