Thursday, September 07, 2006

Daily Stats and Deciding on the Impact you have...

Yesterday, I had to go to an early evening meeting up in Palo Alto. I had made a call to a friend to see if I could get a ride with her if she was heading up. But I hadn't heard from her, so I had to make a decision. I had the option of dialing in and using a another dial up trunk, or I could ride my bike up 6 miles, 12 miles round trip. I also had to factor in the fact that I would be riding home in the dark which may introduce some risk. Dialing in meant using up funds that could be used for scholarships. I was attending a board meeting for a non-profit. So what was the impact of my decision. Do I go for my personal convenience at the cost to someone else and dial in, or do I get on my bike and go.

I decided that some exercise was in order and I did feel guilty for using a trunk that I absolutely did not have to, so I ended up riding my bike.

Miles Ridden: 12

But this got me thinking as to what were the choices and consequences of my choices of transportation, and I thought back to a blog post my friend Ted had made on his blog which explores what it takes to create a complete society. He makes trade offs between getting a hybrid, vs not getting a car among other things. I've been wrestling with those same questions. Originally I thought my next car would be a hybrid, but to be honest I've driven the Prius and I'm not a big fan of the rear sight lines. I had considered a Civic Hybrid but the wait times are bit prohibitive. I also wondered does it make sense to buy second hand, again reminding me of another post Ted had made concerning the priority implicit in the popular phrase "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle" I've tried to reduce, now looking into used cars, I'm hoping to reuse.

If you try to look at the whole system, your brain hurts. It reminds me of what the urban planner Peter Calthorpe said "The problem with holistic thinking is you have to think about everything, all the time." The danger in all this, is that perhaps it's too much analysis, but is the greater danger that there isn't enough?


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