Sunday, February 03, 2008

Small Feet for an American

Okay so I have been on a kind of social/enviromental conciousness tear of late. First I get all fired up about over population and this morning I heard the words "Carbon Footprint". Yesterday too many people. Today too much exhaust. See a theme here?

I was not going to mention my concerns over how high we are setting the global thermostat. I have already been crowned by Noah as a blogosphere party pooper when he renamed me "Crumudgeonator". But when I get my bowels in an uproar, I fidget and fuss until they have been purged. So bear with me and we'll both get through it. I can then go back to ignoring the obvious once again.

This is not my first show of concern. I have been a fair weather friend of the global warming trend for many years. Way before Al invented it. The Earth Day celebrations of the 70s saw my hippy ass right there crunching granola and planting trees with the best of them.

I even went on record as a concerned business owner when I virtually signed a petition by the Massachusetts Climate Coalition submitted to the then great governor Mitt Romney in 2004. I admit to being somewhat puzzled about what ole Mitt would be able to do about it, but I signed up anyway.

I cannot remember when the concept of "carbon footprint" and "carbon credits" first set off my sonar. Right out of the gate though, I smelled something fishy. The idea or calculation of the overall pollution we as individuals create is a great idea in my opinion. Figure it up and see where improvements can be made. But the idea that we could somehow "buy" our way to a cooler World just did not compute cleanly.

Lord knows, Americans could certainly trim some fat by working on their individual footprints. The World average is 4 tons per human per year. The World industrial nation average is 11 tons. Here in the States, we Americans belch out 20 plus tons per person each year.

The fish smellin aspect of this began when I figured my footprint on 2 different sites. The first one put me and mine at a tad over 11 tons per year. I was really feeling full of myself now. My impact paled in comparison to the folks next door. I was green without even trying. I could hold my head high and look my tree hugging friends in the eye.

To obtain a sense of fairness and just because another site offered to calculate my contribution to the overall warming trend, I punched it up. When it was done crunching similar numbers in a different way, it indicated I was not the accidental green man I thought I was. According to this site, I was spewing out 18 plus tons a year. Less than the national average, but hardly anything to be proud of.

Both sites had handy shopping carts available for me to buy off my guilty conscience. The disparity between the two puzzled me until I realized the second site was a bill paying sponsor of Google. A higher overhead because of advertising and the fact they were located in the DC area filled in the blanks. Everything in DC costs more.


Noah said...

You should read this. Warren's a local guy, and I laughed when I read it.

MRMacrum said...

noah - I did already and even left a comment. Very clever piece.