Holy Cow! My Carbon Footprint is Ginormous!

Summary: Those who are positive that the theory of man-made global warming is real have come up with an idea of a carbon footprint. If it's too big, you can use or purchase carbon offsets. It's interesting that when it comes to the Kyoto environmental treaty, that's what some countries have done, too.

I took the carbon footprint test, and I am a huge environmental offender. But at least I'm not as bad a violator as those pesky Brits on the average. (See the table below.) Nonetheless, I have to reduce my footprint by 13,000 units to do my part to reduce man-made global warming. I can plant 14 trees to pay for my offenses. Kind of sounds like the medieval sale of indulgences to me.

Not only can individuals reduce their carbon footprint. Some countries reduced their carbon footprint with regard to the Kyoto treaty. The United States was not one of them, though.

Among those who reduced their carbon footprints dramatically were Russia and Germany. How did they conform? Why was it so easy for them to sign on to Kyoto? Because they had previously been in one case the Soviet Union, and in the other case (in part) East Germany. Terrible government policies made communist countries by far the foulest polluters on earth, so turning to free enterprise allowed them to clean up their acts substantially.

But the United States didn't sign on. But neither did China or India. Because Kyoto is impossible to conform to. Fortunately, if you understand the science of global warming, you understand that we don't need a Kyoto treaty. More fortunately, as despotic governments become transformed into free enterprise, the greatest committers of environmental degredation sink away into the annals of history.

Update: 6/23/2007 - Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao would have loved Kyoto.


  1. Here is a url that you can send to friends and family that will direct them to the video "The Great Global Warming Swindle".


    For more information on the documentary you can go here.


  2. Ya know, people used to sacrifice a virgin (sometimes by chucking her into a volcano) to appease the gods. If all we've got to do to appease the global warming gods is buy indulgences ... er, carbon offsets, doesn't that make us much more civilized than those ancients?

  3. RU,
    Awesome point. Good analogy. I like it.

  4. The analogy with virgin sacrifices is unclear. If you like it, it's probably because it makes you feel good about your inclination to ignore the environmental issue.

    Indulgences sound quite similar to the carbon offset idea, except there is one difference. There is no evidence that the profit from indulgences was ever used by the church to battle or prevent criminal activity. In the case of CO2 emissions there is at least some honest effort and tangible results.

    The Kyoto protocol deserves a lot of debate. What I see here is mostly cold-war style rhetoric that does not say anything about the protocol itself. Any constructive ideas?


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