Monday, January 14, 2008

On the Linearity of Carbon Footprints

I don't care about my carbon footprint. I care about my footprint.

Current thinking (and associated media frenzy) is too linear. Nature is a system. Changing one part of the system impacts all of it. Nature has frequently demonstrated its ability to counterbalance events - the basic predator / prey dynamic for example.

Human attempts at controlling nature are riddled with disasters that resulted from linear thinking. Releasing myxamitosis in 1950s Australia is just one fine example. Killed off the bunnies admittedly. But also endangered the predators that eat the bunnies. How on earth could someone think that introducing an incurable virus into an ecosystem is a good idea?

If we are to stay living our current little existence, we need to think more generally about our impact on the ecosystem. Yes, please reduce your CO2 output. But that's only part of it. In a few years time we'll no doubt learn how some of our CO2 reducing tactics have damaged the ecosystem in another, equally disasterous, way.

And please go and speak to a geologist to get a proper perspective on climate change through the ages.

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