Carbon Emissions: Making it Personal

October 22, 2011 at 12:01 am Leave a comment

In April 2010 (“Fooling Yourself with Statistics?“) we looked at an Oregonian article about a Metro study of greenhouse gases, “Most Oregon Greenhouse Gas Not What You Think.” We took Metro (and the Oregonian) to task for not drawing a clear line between the carbon emissions of entire sector (transportation) and the carbon emissions under the control of a single person.

The “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” graphic in the July/August 2011 issue of Sierra Club magazine makes the same point. The picture (see below) comes from Mike Berner-Lee’s book, How Bad Are Bananas? (Greystone, 2011). Even if some of these figures are off by a whopping factor of two, you can see that a few hours spent on vacation air travel can wipe out a thousand intelligent decisions about plastic bags, bananas, and paperback books. What was it my Dad used to say, ‘penny wise, pound foolish’?

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Entry filed under: In the News.

Water, water, everywhere … Predicting Future Climate: The Devil is in the Details

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