Saturday, May 09, 2009

An encounter with greenness

Today we ran across a few people dividing up plots in a community garden in the making. We stopped to admire it, and one of the people (who had a clipboard and thus looked official) came over to talk to us and take our contact info. (We may or may not get a chance to claim a plot. It's hard to say, since we have to move, and we're not sure whether we'll end up close enough to make it likely that we'll actually visit the garden on a regular basis.)

The clipboard garden guy was Ken Dunn, who (as he told us) used to be a philosophy grad student at the UofC, back in the days when it was populated by the villains from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. And (as subsequent googling revealed) according to the Tribune he is quite possibly Chicago's greenest person.
Dunn produces only 3,800 pounds of carbon dioxide a year, as compared with the 44,000 pounds produced by the average American....

The difference between Dunn’s annual emissions and the average is the equivalent of chopping down 600 square feet of Amazon rain forest or driving a Honda Accord 60,300 miles on the highway....

Stated another way, Dunn is already living at roughly the level of carbon emissions that scientists at the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change say the average human must achieve by 2100 if we are to avoid dangerous effects of global warming.
Wow. Whether or not we get to garden with him, I want to visit his place to see how it's done. Or maybe have him come by our place for an audit. I would repay him with a meal, except it would probably be far below his ethical standards.

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