Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It's Not Easy Being Green

I try to be green. I recycle. I reuse and repurpose. I keep my travel local. I even cycled to work (when I had a day job). I grow fruits and vegetables. I even have a beehive in my garden. I do all these things to keep my carbon footprint on the petit side. That said, I love motor racing and fast cars. My car has a V6 for no practical reason. I went with a V6 over a 4-cylinder for the simple reason I liked the sound and the fact that it pulls like a train from lower down on the power band.

So okay, okay, maybe I’m not that green all time, but at least I try. Kinda.

As someone who cares about the environment, it’s hard to reconcile my love of motor racing some times. Yes, motorsport has improved automotive safety, aerodynamics, engine outputs and bunch of other things, but that only occurs at the top level of the sport where it’s a living, breathing R&D exercise. Not so much in the lower levels of the sport where I used to dwell. On any given race day, there's at least two to three hundred cars competing at any one circuit. Throw in all the vans and trucks transporting those racecars too and there's a lot of petrol being burned at every event. The only positive contribution my fellow brethren and I ever made was towards the country’s GDP and not the environment.

The same applies to my road car, I could get by with a Smart car, but I do love to drive something that eats a little more gas and punts out a little extra CO2. To offset my guilty pleasure, I drive less than 5,000 miles a year.

I suppose it comes down to that fact that I need to nourish my soul as well as my environment. Driving on a winding stretch of road fills me with a glow. That glow can be seen from space when I’m in a racecar.

I could do everything thing minimize my impact on the environment, but it wouldn’t be much fun and life is about living and not punishing yourself. We maybe condemning ourselves to an early grave, but it’s inevitable really. We have to consume to exist. Depressing, but true.

I do plenty of things to conserve, but you're going to have excuse this one vice of mine. Like that wise old sage, Kermit once said, “It’s not easy being green.”

Yours conflicted,


  1. It balances out, Simon. Like a candy bar and a Diet Coke.

  2. I think Plato said that. :-)