The other day I was asked whether Japanese knotweed causes global warming. I had to think this one through. I guess the argument goes that if knotweed is growing, then surely it is fixing carbon from the atmosphere into the plant and therefore reducing the amount of CO2 in the air. So that’s a good thing, if you believe the theory that greater concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere causes global warming.
But when we kill knotweed, the carbon that is fixed in the plant gets released predominantly into the soil - if we let it rot down, and into the atmosphere - if we burn it. So that presumably increases CO2 in the air and in theory therefore contributes to global warming.
That led me on to think about what other carbon emissions come from Environet and how we could reduce them. The main source is from our diesel and petrol vehicles, which of course release CO2 into the atmosphere. We’ve reduced those in London by getting rid of the gas-guzzling 4x4s and replacing them with a small 3 wheeled vehicle. It’s not a Robin Reliant, but an Italian work of art that I’m told is all the rage for fashion conscious dudes in Paris. It's extremely fuel efficient and Congestion Charge exempt, gets my man around London in no time, and doesn’t seem to attract many parking tickets.
To lead by example I now leave my 2.0 litre motor at home - having replaced it with a new bike to travel 8 miles to work, as well as 8 miles back. I’ve cheated a bit and bought a rather cool electrically assisted bike from a very good bike shop in Winchester. My kids took the mick a bit and suggested I get a mobility scooter instead, but now they see I can keep up with the likes of Bradley W, they want to borrow it all the time. It makes sense as it saves 15 miles a day, 75 miles a week, approx. 3600 miles a year. Based on my car doing about 35 mpg I reckon that is about 450-500 litres per year, a saving of around £750 per year in fuel alone. I haven’t worked out how much CO2 that’s saved, but it all helps – doesn’t it?