What's the biggest pain in your industry II - Carbon emissions ~ Sounds + Food 'n' Retail

Continuing from part I - obesity, this post will be equally light as I have "♫ my mind on my money and my money on my mind… ♫" Or something to that effect.

Walkers - calculating our emissions.jpgAccording to a carbon-emission calculation of PepsiCo's Walkers crisps, the majority of carbon emissions come from the production of raw materials (44%) and processing thereof (30%). A Dutch magazine, Tijdschrift voor Marketing, attributes the majority of the carbon footprint to transportation of said materials, and forms the conclusion that more and more production and consumption has to happen on a localised scale.

Even though the makeup of those figures may be open to interpretation—there is no breakdown about what in the first 44% is due to actual farming and what to transportation—perhaps, Mr. Kuiper, the author of that piece, has a point.

In a TED-lecture, James Howard Kunstler argues that the 'hydrogen-economy' is a pipe-dream and we must start thinking about creating urban environments fully equipped with the means of production, transportation, living, and waste-disposal, all in one. Very inspiring, though clearly requiring significant paradigm- and resource-shifts from today's globalised economy.

Clearly transportation comes at a cost, the question is how much the alternative would cost. Building super-farms, creating artificial climates to grow exotic food, waste-disposal, dealing with virus-outbreaks—regarding the latter, farmers already have problems dealing with chickens, sheep, and cows now, let alone having to deal with something like Kunstler's utopian vision—all of which represent costs that have to be accounted for.

But, I don't want to sound like a pessimist. I actually love the idea of a super-farm and a super-urban environment, regardless of the monetary cost. I'm sure plenty a sci-fi artist has tried to draw such a very thing (as have I). It's complicated, expensive, but exciting at the same time.

Asking you a tough question: How would you do it? What would a Kunstler-inspired localised economy look like to you? Is it even possible? … well, something to think about anyway…


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