Think Global, Love Local

February 4, 2009

I recently read a to a playful but interesting article from the online magazine Slate arguing that long distance relationships are bad for the planet.   The author coins the term “sex miles” (a play on the term “food miles”) to calculate just how much carbon you emit to see a significant other that lives elsewhere.

I recently commented on a friend’s status on Facebook saying that I didn’t think that the concept of eating local and reducing food miles was necessarily better for the environment or for developing countries (based largely on  studies which have been published by my former colleagues at ODI).  My comments led to an argument with someone I didn’t know (a friend of my friend), who defended the eat local movement vociferously, despite my attempts to show that eating local in London during the winter resulted in an all root vegetable diet.  I know as we used to get a box of local fruit and vegetables delivered every week, but recently cancelled our account as we couldn’t face any more parsnip or swede and were ready to kill for a green bean.

But I think that the case against long distance relationships is more straight forward from a climate change perspective – it’s hard to see an enviromnetal or developmental upside, plus, they’re no fun for the people in them.   I guess the only possible justification would be in expanding the variety of dates available – if your area is filled with the dating equivalent of turnips, it just might be worth diversifying.

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One Response to “Think Global, Love Local”

  1. […] written before about how the “eat local” movement just doesn’t attract me too much while I live […]

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