The term that I dislike as much as "global warming" is "carbon footprint". Whenever I hear "carbon footprint" I want to plant my "carbon footprint" right on that person's arse. The "carbon footprint" is supposed to refer to the amount of carbon that is being emitted by something or someone and through their actions or activities. And regardless as to how much I dislike the term, the "carbon footprint" is a real thing. However, I have yet to see a standard method for measuring what the "carbon footprint" actually is. Thus, that means that people or organizations that claim to be all for saving the environment (and who are usually, ironically, doing so via some sort of business that they hope to capitalize upon. Shocking, I know.) seem to measure the carbon emissions of things however they want to. And we wouldn't really know how that is because they don't tell us. But for some reason, if you claim to know about the "carbon footprint" and how to measure it, they will line up in droves, like zombies, to listen to you and to throw money at your feet.
I'm not exaggerating. Here's an example: Delta Airlines has a "Carbon Offset Program" where you can choose to contribute $5.50 per round trip domestic flight ($11.00 per international round trip flight) to help "offset" their "carbon footprint". That money goes into their Conservation Fund. The Conservation Fund uses that money to plant trees. I find it interesting that it's the same $5.50 regardless as to the length of the flight that you're taking. See, I find it doubtful that my "carbon footprint" if I flew from California to Utah would be the same as if I flew from California to New York. But they're "offsetting" something with "carbon" in it, so it must be good. Offputting is what it is. But I digress.
So, over at the "Global Footprint Network - Advancing the Science of Sustainability" they have a "Personal Footprint Calculator" which claims to help "you see how your living habits relate to your use of the planet's resources." I don't know how they figure stuff out based upon your answers, and neither will you because they don't say. But that's not my entire issue. No, my issue is with some of the questions. Let's begin.
The questions can be answered with a general response or with a more specific response. The questions covered the basics. How much of and what kind of food do you eat? How much trash do you generate? What are your driving habits? How often do you fly a year? Stuff like that. Those questions seem reasonable. But then I ran across some questions that did NOT seem reasonable.
OK, so I DID manage to finish the quiz. (The quiz that wasn't sure if I had electricity or not because they're taking into consideration I could be living in a teepee on an island in the middle of the Pacific somewhere as I use what little power my solar cells have generated for my computer to take their ridiculous quiz). And for me the bottom line was that my habits, running water and electricity and all, allegedly require 4.1 planet Earths "if everyone lived like me". My habits allegedly take up 18.2 global acres of the Earth's productive area and emit 19.8 tons of carbon dioxide. That's when I moved to Australia.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to tote some well water back to the yurt. Sphere: Related Content