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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Saved my bacon

I had to go to Copenhagen for something, and when I was at Heathrow, I read about a splendid new green initiative from All Nippon Airways.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) claims that empty bladders mean lighter passengers, a lighter aircraft and thus lower fuel use.

[From Airline goes green by asking passengers to use the toilet before boarding | Mail Online]

Apparently, the gate staff there are reminding travellers to go to the toilet before they get on the plane. The idea of this is to reduce weight on the flights, thereby saving on jet fuel, thereby helping the environment. What a brilliant idea! It struck me as just the sort of vacuous, irrelevant gesture that is perfect for Looking Glass Britain. I'm surprised that Bono didn't mention this in his address to the Tory Party conference. Usually, you just get celebrities flying around in private jets while telling the rest of us to use low-energy light bulbs, but this is so much better. A "take-a-dump for Gaia" campaign will get the public on board and certainly raise awareness of climate change issues. It will make people feel like they are doing something about climate, without really inconveniencing anyone (conveniencing, them in fact). I enthusiastically joined the campaign, and then boarded the flight.

When I got to the airport in Copenhagen, I thought I would continue with my heartfelt commitment to saving the planet and decided to take a bus to the hotel, as it looked as if it was directly on the 5A bus route from the airport. So I wandered out and hurrah! There was a 5A bus waiting. I jumped on, and then ran into a problem, since it hadn't occurred to me that I would have to pay, and I hadn't bothered to get any Danish Kroner and the bus didn't take cards. So I asked the driver if I could pay in euros, and he said it would be five euro. But oh no, I only had a 10 euro note and the driver didn't have any chance. I was just about to get off, when a youngish (I'd say mid-20s) man came forward and paid the fare for me. I asked him if he had a card or could write his address, and he told me in near-perfect English that the driver was trying to rip me off because the fare should have been half that, and please don't worry about the money. What a gentleman! The historic relationship between England and Denmark continues (I still consider the the crowns to be united, as I do not recognise the claim of King William I to the English throne).

In true pay-it-forward fashion, I swear the next time I see someone get on the bus and then get stuck because they have no change, I will cheerfully pay for them.

In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]

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