Bananas Are Best

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mike Berners-Lee, founding director of Small World Consulting and the author of How Bad Are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything, says to forget everything you think know about carbon footprints.  He even says there are times when driving beats out bike-riding.


Mike Berners-Lee

Comments [12]

Laurie from NJ

Why is this show no longer available via iTunes? Please fix it!

May. 10 2011 05:15 PM

Regarding "How Bad Are Bananas", the author made a glaring error about electric cars. Producing the electricity to charge their batteries does indeed at present require fossil fuels, but advantage of electric cars lies not where they get their electric charge but rather that an electric engine is far more efficient than an internal combustion engine: 80% as opposed to 20%, a fourfold advantage in energy consumption for an electric engine.

May. 10 2011 12:09 PM
Amy from Manhattan

To nick from brooklyn, those problems are real, but you can get organic fair-trade bananas. These days, they don't even cost much more than the other kind.

To gary from queens, of course we need fuel, but it doesn't have to be primarily carbon-based. It's worth developing alternatives. Yes, we can only start from where we are now, but the faster we switch over, the better.

May. 10 2011 12:03 PM
Becky from nyc

Let me know when you have an extra seat in that plane Ron! I'll gladly bike to the airport & hitch a ride w/ you to do my part. Thanks for that last topic. looking forward to the read.

May. 10 2011 12:02 PM
Amy from Manhattan

On the answer about small plane vs. car, the number of passengers affects the amount of fuel needed to carry the additional weight more in a plane than in a car. I'm not sure how this balances out, but it's something to take into account.

May. 10 2011 11:58 AM
XO from Manhattan

Jamie -

You nailed it. Global Warming is ALL about feeling better about yourself. I believe it's also known as being smug.

May. 10 2011 11:52 AM
kared from queens

Should I take the ferry to Sardinia or a Ryanair flight? I would love an environmental reason to protest the discount airline's bag fees.

May. 10 2011 11:52 AM
nick from brooklyn

N.B.: BANANAS are a human rights nightmare, historically, and their farming has reduced the biodiversity of resource-rich places. They may have a minor carbon footprint, but they're bad for the environment and for workers.

May. 10 2011 11:51 AM
Liam from East Elmhurst

Another 'Brit' KNOW-IT-ALL!

Was there a revolution?

Check out Jackson Heights-GARBAGE GARBAGE GARBAGE on the ground-filthy.
Talk about values and neglect and just plain dummies who don't understand respecting your society.

May. 10 2011 11:50 AM
Henry from Manhattan

@ gary from queens

Mike Berners-Lee accepts anthropogenic global warming as science fact and offers very reasoned analysis of carbon impact we should be concerned about versus things that, while they have an impact, aren’t too bad and recommends focusing our attention on the big offenders and not get distracted over the small stuff.

May. 10 2011 11:45 AM
Mike from Tribeca

Bananas are yummy, but why do they cost so much?

May. 10 2011 11:01 AM
gary from queens

With this guest, I'm hoping we will finally hear a word from a global warming skeptic. Or at least one who places the issue in proper perspective: Without a carbon-based economy fueling economic growth, we will not make the technological advances in renewable or cleaner carbon energy tachnologies.

As far as bananas go, they contain all 8 essential amino acids. A much more energy efficient (for our bodies, that is) method of getting amino acids than digesting cooked meat or pasturized milk. Bananas may be man's (and woman's) best food.

May. 10 2011 10:09 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.