Progress: Traveling, Cleaning Out

I got a passport in January.  Really, personal friends, I did, remember how I’ve been planning to do that for two years, and how I promise to do it every three months ‘for real this time’?  I did it, and I have the paperwork to show for it, and in three weeks I can hop on a plane going anywhere in the world and SPEW CARBON ALL OVER YOU MUAHAHAHAHA.

I am conflicted about that.  I am certain that I want to get out and see the world, and I’m certain that, for my time and resources, airplanes are the most practical methods of transport to a bunch of places, but I’m also certain that airplane rides spew a bunch more greenhouse gases than I’d otherwise be comfy using.

Now, I don’t travel for business (not for lack of wanting, I’m just in the wrong business right now).  And I’m not wealthy, just very ok, so I can’t afford to jet about more than once or twice a year.  I certainly have other spending priorities that will limit my self-financed travels.  I’m not going to be spending all my weekends in Puerto Rico or anything like that.  But V and I want to go visit his family in Norway, and I’d like to go to a friend’s wedding in Oregon, and I didn’t spend 7 years studying Russia with the intention of never visiting there again.  Plus how else will I explore Byzantium, and meet Czech poets, and I want to smell India, and after we visit the Norwegian family we’ll have to visit the Colombian family, and Brazil always sounded nice, and so on.  Oh, then I want to learn to fly myself, because I want to be a pilot even more than I want to ride a motorcycle, and I think if I promise to give up the latter my loved ones will be so grateful I’m not going to kill myself that they’ll support the pilot’s license whole-heartedly.  See, I’ve got dreams.

I should feel guilty about this.  No Impact Man and his commenters certainly have a lot to say about limiting plane trips, and I respect their opinions.  One plane ride is a year of driving, carbon emissions are more harmful higher up in the atmosphere, if everybody in the world flew places we’d be living in The Day After Tomorrow, considering doing that much planet damage just to make yourself happy means you’re a bad environmentalist, etc.  And carbon offsets don’t count.

I dig that.  That’s fine.  But it doesn’t make me think only ever going as far as my hybrid can take me ever is a viable solution.   Flying is occasionally the only way for me to get places I want to go, and until there’s a better way, that’s the one I’ll use.  All that remains is trying to compensate somewhere else for those carbon emissions, and in the interests of that, I’m gonna look into offset or carbon reduction products later, and bike to work now.

As for the cleaning out, both my closet and V’s closet look totally awesome now, and the Salvation Army and Goodwill have many new wares to sell.  I’ll think of a new monthly thing in the next few days.

Have a good Monday!

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