Sunday, April 8, 2007

Becoming Carbon Neutral

One of the advantages of living in a 400 square foot apartment is my carbon footprint is presumably small. I'm no scientist, but from everything I've read and just judging by how screwed up and extreme the weather's gotten, the nation's fleet of Hummers is taking its toll. That said, I think we're going to turn it around in the next couple decades, with fewer idiot politicians who are completely tethered to the oil industry, more innovations from the massive investments going into green technology and people changing their lifestyles. There definitely needs to be incentives for people to stop driving SUVs, like a sizable gas tax, but I like the idea of people doing stuff on their own. I just calculated my carbon footprint. Because I fly about seven times a year, it's not as low as I thought: 6 tons vs the 7.5 avg. I bought carbon offsets for $6 a month to fund some windpower projects. Visa soon will introduce the GreenCard here, which will calculate your carbon footprint on a monthly basis, report it to you and plant trees to offset your output. The idea is people will use the credit card more to see the effects. These voluntary schemes won't get us out of the mess, but they're small steps in right direction. I'm interested if anyone else has calculated their footprint. I wonder why our current government, which is big into the rhetoric of personal responsibility and feels conservation is a "personal virtue," doesn't encourage this.

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