CONTEMPLATION The Greening Maze … So, how big is yours? Your carbon footprint in the sky? Our cadre of national eminencies, elected,…


The Greening Maze …

So, how big is yours?

Your carbon footprint in the sky?

Our cadre of national eminencies, elected, appointed, paid and volunteering are lambasting us with hellfire and brimstone as the world’s top carbon sinners of the millennium.

Apparently it’s because we live in North America and think we need cars, trucks, trains and planes to move around on our vast geography, and get stuff to where we live so we can keep warm, well fed and housed.

We’re inundated with a proliferation of “thou shalts, and thou shalt nots” already, so the solution they’re proposing is about as original as adding two slices of bacon to a burger.

What else? A carbon tax. I wonder what they’ll name the next one?

A glimpse into some of the world numbers affecting us, and asking how a tax on us will have an impact on some of these footprints in the sky.

Consider: from Popular Science September 2007, “Belching, farting farm animals account for about 16 per cent (16 per cent) of the world’s emissions of methane — a greenhouse gas that’s 20 times, yes 20 times, as harmful as carbon dioxide,” say scientists at the University of Wales.

I guess we even have it on the green, green grass of home — our Porcupine caribou herd. Add Africa’s herds, and the countless other ruminant creatures roaming our planet, and we enter an impenetrable maze. Will they too be taxed?

Consider: from Eva Ligeti’s words, reviewing Clive Doucet’s book Urban Meltdown: An astonishing 80 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gases comes from the activities in energy-hungry urban centres. Thus the solution to climate change resides with the world’s cities.”

Compare Alberta’s Energy ministry report in 2007 that Canada’s favourite carbon whipping boy, the Athabasca Oil Sands, emits 20 megatonnes a year, which is 3.4 per cent of Canada’s total annual emission: 6,000 megatonnes, or two per cent (two per cent) of global greenhouse gases.

Those three examples are but a tiny tip of the tip of the iceberg of carbon considerations. Even including our favourite whipping boy, Canada’s carbon footprint in the sky is smaller, by far, than cows’, for heaven’s sake.

And scolding me as a North American bad boy I find irrational as I watch a flock of 15,000 environmental birds fly off, like a migration, to a South Pacific island, probably leaving more carbon footprints in the sky than all the Boxing Day sales in major cities around the globe.

Aren’t these some of the selfsame gurus encouraging us to teleconference utilizing the planet’s magnificent telecommunications systems, negating the need to gather in such huge flocks?

Those who should be following Grandpa’s advice of leading by example, are not?

It would surely help!

A tip of the hat to North Americans who, despite the odds of getting through the maze, will give it their best shot while encouraging our eminencies to sit on a contemplation bench and decide how to get the world’s other 98 per cent of carbon footprinters on board?

Be prepared for a long wait because we haven’t mentioned a couple of apparent unmentionable elephants still in the attic: overpopulation and global dimming, but we will.