Global Warming: Calculate your own pollution

global warming and pollution

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A friend of mine and I were talking about global warming the other day, specifically referring to an article I read about “solutions” for climate change.  The article itself was very informative, but some of the ideas were just downright scary due to the horrible potential down-sides, such as:

  • Spray Sulfate Aerosols into the atmosphere to help prompt planetary cooling. Spraying something like that into the atmosphere is scary enough but this could also apparently trigger chemical reactions which would lead to the destruction of the ozone layer!  We don’t want that.
  • Dump Limestone into the oceans to help level out an anticipated increase in the ocean’s acidity.  That is just wrong – can you imagine the amount of limestone that would have to be dumped in the ocean to “balance the pH levels”?  I hate to even think about someone doing that.
  • Trap CO2 in Carbon Scrubbers.  Now this one sounds like a great idea as these scrubbers are estimated to be able to take 1 ton of CO2 out of the air every day.  But at $200,000 a shot and needing hundreds of millions of them to really make a dent, that’s a lot of money.

After we talked, I decided to go to the Fight Global Warming website and check out how much pollution my family and I were creating.  Per their carbon calculator, my family and I created 12.2 metric tons of CO2.  This is apparently equal to the amount of carbon pollution released by cutting and burning all the trees in a section of the Amazon about the size of 1 1/2 football fields.  (My friend’s family creates 20.1 metric tons.)  Either way, that’s a lot of pollution – the average 2-person American household creates 16.9 metric tons of CO2.

The site then recommends ways to cut your pollution such as changing to better light bulbs, driving smarter and buying carbon offsets.  Now I’m all for cutting my CO2 and doing things to help lessen my effect on global warming (such as using a good fuel additive, using Energy Star applicances, recycling, etc) but before I go off and spend money I don’t have to have someone else offset MY carbon impact, I think I’d rather check out what other steps I can personally take.  Stay tuned, I’ll check out some more ideas and let you know.

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