Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Want To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint? Drink Bordeaux

A recent article in the New Yorker magazine shows that the subject of making greener choices in purchasing is not always so cut and dry. A new study shows that New Yorkers who drank Bordeaux versus California wines had less of an environmental impact.

Big Foot
In measuring carbon emissions, it’s easy to confuse morality and science.
by Michael Specter
Many factors influence the carbon footprint of a product: water use, cultivation and harvesting methods, quantity and type of fertilizer, even the type of fuel used to make the package. Sea-freight emissions are less than a sixtieth of those associated with airplanes, and you don’t have to build highways to berth a ship. Last year, a study of the carbon cost of the global wine trade found that it is actually more “green” for New Yorkers to drink wine from Bordeaux, which is shipped by sea, than wine from California, sent by truck. That is largely because shipping wine is mostly shipping glass. The study found that “the efficiencies of shipping drive a ‘green line’ all the way to Columbus, Ohio, the point where a wine from Bordeaux and Napa has the same carbon intensity.

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