On the fourth week of September, I'm going to attend three different events in three days. ECOC'08 to start with, then Odebit'08, and finally the Cisco's CUD conference. That is Monday in Brussels, Tuesday in Paris, and Wednesday in Amsterdam.
Provided that I'll be either an exhibitor (ECOC), or a pro-active participant (Odebit), I have to be there for the opening - means way before the doors open. Also, I expect to leave the places not before 7:00PM each. So the question is : which travel mode is the best, for me to be on time in the morning in Brussels, then in Paris, then in Amsterdam ?
As I do my very best to be an honest Global Warming fighter, the first choice that comes to mind is the Thalys high-speed-train, obviously. At least for the first segment : home - Brussels - Paris, the Thalys seems to be the right solution.
Problem : I must travel low-cost to ECOC. Hence for me driving is cheaper and simplier. Just because I'm "only" 3-hours drive away from Brussels, all on motorways, whilst going by train would force me to 1) drive to the Disneyland Paris high-speed-train station 60 minutes away from home, 2) leave my car at the parking lot there, and pay for it, 3) jump in the train to Lille-Europe, and switch for the next one to Brussels-Midi, 4) grab a taxi to the hotel, and pay for it, 5) on the morning next day, pay the hotel room - a one-night stay in Brussels is not cheap, even in a 2-stars hotel - and 6) grab a taxi to the Exhibition center, and pay the guy. And the reverse in the evening on the way back to home : call a cab, catch the train, switch in Lille-Europe, drive home.
The train option : a 2-days trip, approximatively 350 euros all included but the meals. The car option : a 1-day trip, approx. 100 euros, gasoline & toll included. Therefore, the choice is easy. Car wins, unfortunately for the planet.
Now the trip to Amsterdam. Driving is not an option, so the question is : train or airplane ? Train : the last Thalys to Amsterdam departs from Paris at 6:25PM, meaning that I would have to leave the Broadband Summit at Odebit at something like 5:00PM. No way, since the wrap-up session will be held by a key member of the French Government. Therefore, option B wins : I'll fly from Paris to Amsterdam. I am so sorry, again, Mother Earth.
The conclusion is, you may be the most proactive proponent of the fight against climate changes (which I'm not. This guy is, for sure ;-), your agenda sometimes forces you to break the rules.
The lesson for me : it's time to compensate my carbon emissions. See my total CO2 footprint to date here on Dopplr. How much is yours ?