Of climate change and cabbages
January 22, 2007
There seemed to be scores of planes circling over London last night. A line of blinking red, green and white lights stretched to the horizon, high above the Thames, and beyond in to the Surrey night. It was an eerie and majestic sight. A slow, stately dance at 5000m. Like watching a global warming documentary on a giant outdoor plasma screen.
It got me thinking about something that’s been troubling me recently. The ethics of air travel. After flying to New Mexico, New Zealand and Spain last year, I feel I’ve left a big dirty carbon footprint on the global shagpile. After New Zealand, I piously informed maths chick that I wouldn’t be flying anywhere in 2007. Who needs a romantic weekend in Fez? Let’s book a B&B in Weston-super-Mare. It’s time to explore the nooks and crannies of this nooky little island of ours, I said. Or something like that.
And now, 21 days in to the new year, and we’ve already bought a bargain-bin flight for 2 to Valencia. So much for good intentions. A quick visit to a carbon offsetting website assured us that we could fly with a clear conscience for a small donation of £5.15. Which seemed like a good deal.
But then I read in this week’s Riverford newsletter that perhaps only about 14p of this will actually pay for trees to be planted. And anyway, it’s not been proved that planting trees will have any real impact on climate change. Goddam, what’s a half-assed eco-consumer to do?
Sometimes I think it’s time I made some serious lifestyle changes to help keep this planet from overheating. Other times I think, sod it, why should I be the one making all the sacrifices? I get a veg box, don’t I? I don’t buy New Zealand kiwi fruit. I’m doing my bit, aren’t I?
Whatever. Here’s a good way to reduce a whole Savoy cabbage to a few spoonfuls of soft, savoury mushiness. It’s an Italian recipe from Anna Del Conte’s The Classic Food of Northern Italy. I was going to write about battutas, sofrittos and other arcane secrets of the Italian kitchen. But I feel this post has already out-stayed it’s welcome, so here it is, in ADD-friendly comic strip format.