Sassy Science: The Carbon Footprint

Over the weekend, a few of Miss Sassy Pants fabulous Hokie family members came to visit! I love you all dearly, no matter our many varying and differing opinions on certain topics. Having said that, I must address the issue of the carbon footprint, as mentioned by my dear friend, let’s call him Mr. Smarty Pants.  So we’re in the kitchen (after a yummy dinner prepared by Momma and Poppa Pants – I mean SO delish) doing dishes and chit-chatting, catching up on jobs, school, job searches, new bartending endeavors by Mr. Smarty-Pants’ beautiful girlfriend (and also dear friend of Miss Sassy Pants), let’s call her Miss Fancy Boots (girl had on these fierce boots and I loved them so there you go). Miss Fancy Boots is living in NYC at this time and has been making frequent trips down to good ol’ VA to see her loving Hokie fam and adorable bf.  So I asked something about how was it to be flying back and forth so often?  How does Mr. Smarty Pants like seeing his gf so much?  Clearly this is a no-brainer question…so I thought.  She says of course she likes it because she loves seeing us/him so often (duh, we’re all fabulous), but it’s pricey!  He says, “Well I like seeing her but she’s really increasing her carbon footprint!” …I’m sorry, maybe I dropped fettucini in my ear by accident, but I thought I heard him criticize her carbon footprint.  Oh that is what he said? Oh, trife.

So all you dudes out there, pretend for a moment that you are Mr. Smarty Pants and your gorgeous woman lives in a far away city. Pretend also that money is no object for anyone, so Miss Fancy Boots can come and see you as often as you both please! How cool would that be! If you’re a smart man, you’d probably respond in one of the following ways: “Well I love seeing her, but I feel bad that it costs so much!” or perhaps “It’s pretty great seeing her, but I only wish I was able to fly up to see her so it would be more equal!”  Notice I did not mention a carbon footprint of any kind.  Would you?  I mean ladies, how would you react if your man said to you, “Well darlin it’s pretty fab seeing you but I can’t take your enormous carbon footprint! I’d rather you not visit me so often.”  Your next line would be, “Buh bye,” not to mention the fact that your man just used the word “fab” in a sentence. Brnt.

Anywho, here’s my thing.  I love the environment.  I love green jobs, whatever that means.  Global warming is the devil. I hate pollution and I love to recycle everything. Do not send me that glossy catalogue in the mail because it does not recycle people! With me?  But all this buzz about carbon footprint…I’m just not sure I understand it’s pertinence to the individual person.  So, because I don’t like to be uninformed, I did some research!  Intense research, I know.  So the definition of a carbon footprint, according to whomever wrote this thrilling article on wikipedia, is: the total set of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by an organization, event or product.  Does it say “caused by each individual person on the planet”? No. If Miss Fancy Boots did not fly back and forth 3 times over the past month, those planes would still have flown! They still would have used hundreds of gallons of fuel and emitted the same “staggering” percentage of global CO2 emissions.  Further googling has led me to find that aircraft emissions account for at least 3% of total US CO2 emissions. While this is a fairly large amount, individual people are not going to affect this percentage.  Yes, if every industry that sends its’ employees road-warrior-ing every week decided to employ their employees where their employees reside, then yeah maybe air traffic would decrease, therefore lowering emissions. But kids, until someone invents an airplane that runs on water or something that does not emit this devil gas, and until global business decides it doesn’t want to be global anymore, planes will still fly! Air traffic will still increase! The airline industry will still have ridiculous problems to deal with other than CO2 emissions!

Now. I realize that my profession has nothing to do with the environment or saving the world from CO2 emissions and I do not claim to be an expert by any means.  But I can read, and I took 2nd grade science class. Every human on God’s lovely green Earth emits CO2.  It’s a natural bodily function.  So no duh humans are speeding up “global warming”…checked the global population lately? There’s over 6.5 billion human beings on this Earth kids! It’s grown exponentially over the past century! That’s a lot of people exhaling CO2.  I do not want my breathing regulated.  Point is, while the EPA and other tree-hugging organizations (bless their little hearts) are suing (or whatever) the FAA and/or whatever government body it is that regulates the air transportation industry, Miss Boots (and everyone else for that matter) can keep right on flying as often as she pleases! Because, update! US Airways is not a private company! She cannot charter a 747 all to her hot little self.  I fulling support *most* of these environmental protection agencies (there’s lots of them, I’m lumping them all together, scuse) and their mission to protect the Earth.  I mean that’s what we should do.  It’s responsible, it’s the only Earth we’ve got.  But do not come up in my grill and be all like “your personal carbon footprint is ruining the Earth! Stop breathing!” Not happening.  So fly on Miss Fancy Boots.  I know I sure love seeing you, and if you run out of moolah to buy your plane ticket, I will save my hard-earned cash and come see you instead! Or maybe I’ll take the train! Oh wait, trains emit CO2 also.  Good grief!  Maybe I’ll walk, and hold my breath the whole way.

4 responses to “Sassy Science: The Carbon Footprint

  1. Just to refute some of the latest info in your post… here’s some “individual” carbon footprint calculators…

    AND for the record… Mr. Smarty Pants thoroughly enjoys seeing his beautiful girlfriend Miss Fancy Boots REGARDLESS of her carbon footprint size. He only wishes there was a way to see her just as often for equal or less money and certainly less environmental impact. Unfortunately walking to NYC from Blacksburg is currently not efficient.

    Keep it Sassy.

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  4. Hi, I came across your blog and thought you might like this initiative we are running; “Make Your Blog Carbon Neutral”. If you get chance, have a look here:

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