The System needs to be changed

MIT Class Calculates Carbon Footprint of “The Man” | Wired Science from

The MIT class, in a paper (pdf) to be presented at the IEEE International Symposium on Electronics and the Environment, estimated that no American, even the homeless and itinerant Buddhist monks, could get their total “share” of energy usage below 130 gigajoules, which is more than twice the global average, and directly correlated with carbon footprint.

That’s because the basic infrastructure of the United States including police, roads, libraries, courts and the military were allocated equally to all citizens of the country.
Thus, even if one’s personal consumption in terms of purchased products and lifestyle were minimal, he or she would still bear their share of the systemic carbon load, according to the methodology of this study. In common terms, each and every U.S. resident is carbon-heavier other countries’ citizens.

This is the real issue that needs to be addressed.


2 thoughts on “The System needs to be changed

  1. Truly that is the real issue that needs to be addressed. I see a flip side to the coin though. If a person is working in the US to lower the carbon load of the system, it could be argued that their personal carbon load should also take into account the reductions that they produce in the system.

  2. Jay:

    Well, that becomes complicated. I can understand that it would make sense for individuals, but in terms of the global scale it is unnecessary complications for little benefit.

    However, the same effort can be incentivized by providing tax benefits or subsidies or better markets to access the relevant goods.


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