carbon footprint climate change

Climate Change

Our Carbon Footprint




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You know you should probably reduce it, but what exactly is your carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint refers to the total amount of greenhouse gases released into the earth’s atmosphere as a result of the activities of an individual or an organization.

Remember greenhouse gases trap heat inside the atmosphere and that’s overheating the planet. So if you want to work out your own carbon footprint, you need to know the amount of greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, you’re responsible for creating.

It’s a difficult thing to measure precisely, and there are different definitions about how best to calculate it.

But roughly speaking, there’s the direct impact of using energy when we travel or to power our homes. And there’s the indirect impact of the energy that’s used to create all the things we use or consume.

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In the developed world in particular, transport is a big part of your carbon footprint. Cutting down on the use of petrol or diesel cars, and taking fewer flights is one of the most effective ways of reducing it.

The place you live also contributes to your personal footprint it’s important to make sure your home is heated or cooled efficiently and is well insulated.

The more you can use sustainable energy like solar or wind power the more you cut your emissions.

The stuff you use at home also adds to the problem all that plastic metal and cardboard takes a lot of energy to produce and dispose of. So recycling can help reducing your carbon footprint, but not as much as how you travel or heat and cool your home.

Then there’s your diet, above all red meat makes your carbon footprint bigger because cows produce so much methane another greenhouse gas. And huge numbers of trees are cut down to create pastures on which cattle can graze.

In the developing world polluting stoves are a real problem too. So it’s important to try to replace them with more efficient methods of cooking.

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But overall people in poorer countries produce far smaller amounts of greenhouse gases than people in richer countries do.

So if you look at just what a country produces the average amount of carbon dioxide emissions per person: in the united states is about 16.1 tonnes per year. In china, it’s 7.1 tonnes and in the UK it’s about 5.5 tonnes.

But in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it’s only naught point nought three (0.03) tonnes, while in Qatar which has a really small population, but produces so much oil and gas it’s 38.6 tonnes (now that’s just production; it doesn’t take into account of all the other things we’ve talked about how much you consume).

But obviously the more money you have, the more you tend to consume so if people in richer countries really want to reduce their carbon footprint, they need to make huge changes in their lifestyles.

It can be done and new technologies to make things greener are coming on stream all the time. But it is a reminder that the declared aim in many countries of going carbon neutral by the middle of this century means a revolution in the way we live.

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Fossil Fuel, Oil, Coal, Gas. Which is better, having a small or large carbon footprint?

Power Plant. According to most scientists, the Earth is getting warmer because of sun spots or solar flares. True or false?

Meat, Beef, Pork. How does the way people travel affect the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere? Are lots of cars, trucks and airplanes good for the planet? Is driving a lot good or bad for the environment?

Air Conditioning, Heater. Which produces more greenhouse gases, a house in Switzerland, Arizona or the Canary Islands?

Pollution, Litter, Toxins. Governments need to promote coal, oil and gas-fired power plants. Is this right or wrong?

Car, Automobile, Truck. Should people buy and use paper bags, glass jars and bottles and metal dustpans?

Fertilizer, Pesticide, Insecticide. Are McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC (Kentucky Friend Chicken) true success stories?

Public Transport, Bus, Tramway. Lumber and wood are absolutely necessary for wood-burning stoves, furniture and houses. What do you think?
Subway, Railway, Rail-line. How is the climate where you like? Describe the climate of your town, city or region.

Bicycling, Cycling, Bike Lane. The climate has been changing. Yes or no? What have your grandparents said about the climate?

Vegetarian. Are people concerned about global warming or climate change? Is there much debate, discussion and argument about climate change?

Wind Turbine, Solar Panel. Have people changed their lifestyles, i.e. drive less, walk, bike and take public transport more often; eat less meat?

Reforestation. What might happen in the future?

Plastic, Paper, Glass. What should people, business and governments do?

Recycle, Reuse. Has covid-19 been good, bad, both or neither for the environment?

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