Day 40 & 41: My Life w Car

Sitting in the backseat of the taxi from the Comalapa airport in El Salvador, up ahead I see what appears to be a great cloud of smoke over the city of San Salvador. I ask Cesar, the driver, if there’s a fire and he answers, “no, it’s the buses in the morning. All the buses hit the roads downtown and send a lot of exhaust in the air. It clears out by noon or so.”

That’s a lot of exhaust. Really, it looked like a big fire was burning somewhere.

Continuing to read The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery and continuing to feel overwhelmed by the evidence of global climate change. One of my friends down here is from Costa Rica, I asked him at lunch today about the Golden Toad story and he just said, yeah, that frog is gone. Extinct.


Tim Flannery does such a good job in his book of not just listing the catastrophes but explaining why the catastrophe is important, what that catastrophe means in the entire system. Of course the golden toad was part of a larger system, not just an indicator of a problem. Much like the coral reefs around the world–many, many species depend on the health of coral reef to exist, and many other species depend on those species to exist. And when that entire system falters, or a piece is removed or is missing, the entire system stands the chance of fragmentation.

On another front, I’ve decided to try to nail down just how much car-action I’m actually eliminating from my carbon footprint. This will take a while but just at a high level, looking at the previous week, it looks like I used the car 3 times in the previous week, and my bike just twice. I’d like to see the car come down to about 2 times a week but I don’t know if that’s possible.

Still, 3 times is better than 7 times a week. Mileage was about 26 miles, while biking about 15. I consciously chose to combine as many tasks in a given day as possible if using my car and managed to avoid any single-task trips, averaging about 3.5 tasks per trip.

bianchi bike


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