Shakeel Dilbar - 211341815
Commentary for - A quick guide to carbon and carbon footprints (Berners Lee)
Carbon Footprint – Shorthand to mean the best estimate that we can get of the full climate
change impact of something.
This something Berners refers could be anything- an activity, an item, a lifestyle, a company, a
country, or even the whole world.
The dominant greenhouse gas emitted by humans is carbon dioxide (CO ) which is a
consequence of the burning of fossil fuels in all different walks of society.
Second to CO2 is nitrous oxide mainly released as a waste product of industrial processes?
Cumulatively, gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane and refrigerant gases can
have adverse effects on total climate change.
The author gives an example of a Carbon calculator website promoting the notion that your
individual carbon footprint is purely based on your home energy and personal travel habits,
while ignoring all the goods and services you purchase. Examples of these are the
environmental degradation caused by the amount of electricity, gas, car fuel and food during our
existence. These externalities are what Berners refers to as carbon toe-prints.
Direct versus Indirect Emissions
An example of this is the true cost it takes to make a plastic toy/electronic device. The direct
emission from the manufacturing factory and transportation of the item to the store is not the
only aspect of the carbon footprint. Berners states, those indirect emissions such as those
caused by the extraction and processing of the oil used to make the plastic item in the first place
must be considered when finding out the true cost to the environment for a person to benefit
from that toy. This is the conceptual relationship between direct and indirect emissions and their
contribution to degradation of the environment as a whole.
High Altitude Emissions
Berners state that emissions from planes in the sky are known to have a greater impact than
those that would arise from the burning of the same amount of fuel on the ground. Berners
further states that the science of this discrepancy is still poorly understood by the everyday
Through Berners’ definition