by Johnny Dollar


Do you know what your carbon footprint is? Do you clearly understand the implications of not knowing? Or, not being within the tolerance limits? Who has established this stigma that weighs so heavily upon you? Are you being manipulated as part of a larger agenda? Or, do you believe in taking responsibility for your own actions?

Carbon footprint, as defined in the dictionary, is “the total set of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by an organization, event, product, or person.” The major GHGs are carbon dioxide, methane, and ozone. The two main culprits contributing to the increase in GHGs are the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.

The term carbon footprint is attributed to Professor William Rees, Regional Planning Professor at the University of British Columbia, in his 1992 discussions related to our “ecological footprint.” In 1979, a senate committee on energy used the term “environmental footprint” to describe a proposal to consolidate services and reduce the number of employees in a designated geographical area. In 2000, an electric company was quoted in a major American newspaper saying, “It is essential to reduce our environmental footprint, and reduce our carbon footprint.” But the biggest boost for the term came from a 2005 British Petroleum (BP) media campaign about the “carbon footprint.”

According to the Environmental Dictionary, the carbon footprint is an estimate of how much carbon dioxide is produced to support your lifestyle. It further clarifies that the national average is 7.5 tons of CO2 emitted per person per year, directly or indirectly, to support human activity. AND, did you know that the maximum allowable for sustainable living is less than 2000 kg CO2/year/person (1kg = 2.2 lbs)? Who, pray tell, came up with this little gem of a personal benchmark?

OK, so what’s the rub here? Clearly this “concept” was developed to imply that non-compliance was a bad thing. The concept was intended to intimidate individuals into compliance. By appealing to their emotions, rather than common sense and sound logic, people could be made to feel obligated to listen to a higher moral authority, be part of something that transcends national boundaries, something global in scale.

If you buy into this, clearly you are abrogating your personal right to individual choice. You are being overruled by the collective directive.

So, given all the hype and pressure for you to conform or bear the peer, political, and social consequences, what’s it going to be? Bend over and let some unknown, unseen slap a “carbon footprint” license plate on your ass? Or, you choose to stick it in their ideological eye with something that is more reflective of you as an individual? Like say, your “personal thumbprint”?

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