a new sign has popped up down to the whole foods market -- one reading "local." what a refreshing new salve for our consumerist conscience. not only do we get to pay $4 for a $2 head of lettuce, we get to bask in the virtue of "local" correctness, thus doing our important part to save the planet from the evils of global warming.
problem is, according to new research, seems iffin you run all the numbers to calculate a product's carbon impact, you have to go past "food miles" and figure in how much fertilizer, transported water, electricity and other energy is used to produce this stuff. apparently these "local" goods can produce up to four times the carbon emissions. so most friendly neighborhood "localvores" are gonna hafta start doing a lot of math to keep their self-righteous glow on.
to add insult to injury, a british environmentalist recently calculated that walking to the store contributes even more to global warming than driving a car. walking burns calories which need to be replaced by eating, and since producing food is more carbon-intensive than the gas most people use to drive their car to the market, it can actually be more environmentally destructive to walk than drive.
of course, all of this just seems to underscore the smock's cynical view that, regardless of what we do to make ourselves feel better -- dare i say virtuous -- about our consumption, our assaults against "global warming" are, in the end, symbolic at best.