I am kind of amused by the many “carbon footprint” equations we keep hearing these days. The concept being the measurement of CO2 released during the lifecycle of a product or process. Manufacturers will soon start labeling products with this information, and consumers will be able to choose products with smaller footprints. Fair enough, but there seems to be some seriously whacked logic coming out of this:
A British environmentalist claims that walking pollutes more than driving. Huh?! His argument was that walking burns more calories, which in the case of 95% of us are replenished by eating meat. And the production of meat, especially cattle has a carbon footprint the size of Texas (imagine really big). The math went like this:
Driving a typical UK car for 3 miles [4.8km] adds about 0.9 kg [2lb] of CO2 to the atmosphere. If you walked instead, you would use about 180 calories. You’d need about 100g of beef to replace those calories, resulting in 3.6kg of emissions, or four times as much as driving.
That’s just brilliant! Ofcourse the sensible thing for us would be to eat less meat, a sentiment shared by Ryanair’s boss, who when faced with accusations of being responsible for huge amounts of pollution said “Shoot cows instead of blaming aviation”
Organic milk is worse for the climate. Huh?! Organic dairy cows produce less milk than their relatives jacked up on hormones, but their flatulence is the same. Thus their methane emissions per liter of milk are higher. OK, but what about the fact that organic cows eat mostly grass instead of processed feeds that surely have a carbon footprint all of their own?
1000hp engines are not so bad after all: Huh?! One of the racers at a recent Powerboat event in the Oslofjord was asked if he was concerned about the environmental footprint of his 600 liter/hour guzzler. He responded with a straight face that in reality all those people who came to see the race probably used lot more gas to get there, and if we wanted to seriously clean up the sport that would be the place to start. Conclusion: let’s just watch it on tv.
Home composting is bad for you-know-what: Huh?! Swedish scientists conclude most garden compost heaps contribute to global warming by releasing huge amounts of harmful methane gas. Recycling organic waste right at home should be a good thing: reducing the need for trash pickup, landfill space, and artificial fertilizer production. But it has to be done correctly with equal amounts of mixing and turning or the heap will quickly fart more than a herd of holsteins.