New at PJM — you won’t want to miss this one! :
I made a resolution to lower my carbon footprint. Everyone’s doing it. They say it’s good for the Earth!
I tried my best at first. But the more I learned about carbon footprints, the harder it became.
Turns out that just about every single thing I do uses up carbon! Since almost every form of transportation — trucks, cars, trains, planes, ships — uses petroleum-based fuel, and since petroleum is mostly just carbon mixed up with hydrogen, then everything I use, eat, touch or want requires carbon combustion to reach me. Damn! Every manufactured product of any kind is made up of raw materials that were dug up or retrieved by fuel-burning machines, then transported in fuel-burning trucks or trains to huge plants to be processed or refined, then transported in fuel-burning trucks or trains to different factories where they’re made into everyday objects, then they’re again transported by ship or plane or train or truck to the store, where I go to buy them. That’s a hell of a lot of carbon being used! Even if I ethically bicycle to the store to do my shopping, that’s only, at best, a 1% carbon savings over the amount of carbon that was required to get whatever I’m buying to the store in the first place.
But then I looked down at my bike and realized that it too followed the same high-carbon manufacturing trajectory to reach me when I bought it! And the tires on the wheels, and the steel in the frame, and the . . . well, it all just became too carbon-y to even ponder. Even worse, I just found out that the gasping and panting I do when bicycling is just another way of expelling carbon into the atmosphere! Has anybody calculated whether 20 minutes of heavy exhalations from bicycle riding produces more or less carbon than the three minutes of car exhaust it would take to travel the same distance? So much research is required! It’s simply overwhelming.
Why only carbon?
It began to dawn on me that my carbon usage was just the tip of the iceberg. I was literally devouring the Earth little by little as I used up all the other elements as well! Forget about my carbon footprint: What about my aluminum footprint? My oxygen footprint? My plutonium footprint? If I want to be serious about “living lightly on the land,” I feel that a complete inventory of ALL my elemental footprints is in order. And through that process, perhaps we all can learn to lower our footprints of each and every natural element.
Let us begin the inventory. …
Read the rest here!