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Commentary 5 Carbon Footprint.doc

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Department
Environmental Studies
Course Code
ENVS 2400
Professor
Harris Ali

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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. Carbon Toe-Prints 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 person. Through Berners’ definition
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