Friday, May 04, 2007

Carbon Footprint

Dr. James Hansen, Director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, emphasized last year that,
We have at most ten years — not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions.

A major purpose of my starting this blog is to examine what we can do in Los Angeles, what can work to change course on energy, within the urgent timeframe we have.

I'll begin with the idea of "carbon footprint," because the increase in carbon dioxide emissions caused by burning of fossil fuels is the largest contributor to global warming.

It helps to break it into four main areas we can change as individuals, regionally, and nationally:

  • What and how much we drive
  • Electricity and gas used in our homes and other buildings
  • How much we fly
  • Energy used to make and transport what we buy

Different "carbon calculators" are available online. The website for "An Inconvenient Truth" notes,

The average American generates about 15,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year from personal transportation, home energy use and from the energy used to produce all of the products and services we consume. Calculate your personal impact to see how much CO2 you produce each year.

Another is The Climate Trust's Here is my estimate there:

So what do I do after I calculate it? Stay tuned, there's a lot to explore....

No comments: