During this high-travel pre-holiday season, consider some surprising findings on the carbon footprint of traveling, courtesy of Matthew McDermott of Planet Green/TLC:

* For long distances, buses emit less carbon than trains. Trains still are pretty good choices, and as long as they aren’t breaking down (as the Amtrak a colleague of mine rode to New York from Boston last night kept doing), the Amtrak coach cars are the most comfortable way to travel for hours on end.

* For shorter trips, trains do beat out buses in the carbon footprint measure.

* Trains are always better than flying. McDermott points out that the only asset of flying is speed.

* Driving a car by yourself is almost as bad as flying. I drove by myself to Boston earlier this week. I also always get lost driving in Boston, which means more gas burned.

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