Olympic Torch Relay

This morning I was reading about protests during the Olympic torch relay in Paris forcing the torch’s security team to extinguish the flame.
That got me to thinking: does anything say “committed to reducing carbon emissions” like carrying a glorified burning stick 85, 000 miles around the world? That’s a lot of jet fuel, not to mention all the resources used by security teams in each site, as well as traffic jams caused by that kind of disruption. For reference, that’s more distance than the previous two torch relays, combined. In fact it’s only about 3000 miles more than the previous three torch relays combined.

Torch relay distances

(Stats from Wikipedia)

The carbon footprint of this endeavor has to be pretty large- measured against the problem its a drop in the proverbial bucket, but huge endeavors like this must signal some people that continued consumption is ok. Why trade in the SUV for a smaller car if this stuff is going on?

Astute graph readers may notice this tradition got its start in Nazi Germany in 1936.

Another fun fact is that the relay for the 1976 Olympics traveled only 775 physical kilometers, because it was transmitted by satellite from Greece to Canada by generating an electrical signal from the flame.

Here’s the torch tracker google gadget:

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