Saturday, May 17, 2008

Carbon footprint

Of all the ways we perceive, & change according to, the world around us, one of the important measures to know & care about is your carbon footprint. It is all very well to know about global warming, though I'm personally unsure how much of the global warming debate is driven by scientists as opposed to activists (or alarmists...), however, I think that it is important to know how much each one of us contributes to carbon dioxide content, & see if there are ways to reduce it.

The good thing about reducing carbon footprint is that it is not not only an environment friendly thing to do, but it is also good economics. So if you use CFL in your households, you're at the same time saving money & energy. Unlike many other problems we face today, reducing carbon footprint means a saving of money & not a spending of it. So much so that the CFL commercials just talk about how much you'll save on your energy bill, without saying how much more efficient it is compared to incandescents. This is the implicit however; but I think it'll help to emphasize this.

Again, car pooling/mass transport is good economics (Kilometers per passenger, fuel litres per passenger), good for the traffic, & good for the environment. That is why trains are so much better than flights - though you could argue the macro-economic costs of business travel over rails are enough to offset any gains in reduced spending.

In any case, since a society is after all an assimilation of people that live in it, it will help to know what your carbon footprint is & see what you can do, if you want to, to reduce is. Here is a carbon footprint calculator.

The breakneck pace of India's global ambitions should, I feel, be equally complimented by the sensitivity & awareness of her people - people who are driving this growth, the income appreciation, & probably looking to drive the latest Sports Utility Vehicles, & the gradually replacing once manual chores to appliances as much as they can.

I do not know what the right balance to all of this is, but a start is probably more important than the right strategy.

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