back to article Measuring your carbon footprint? There's no app for that

I recently installed an app that promised to measure my carbon footprint, then offer meaningful recommendations that could help me to reduce it. I thought that sounded like a good enough offer that I was willing to endure a modestly nosey survey that gathered information about my lifestyle, income, and personal habits. The …

  1. Chris G Silver badge

    If every government passed laws requiring every manufacturer to calculate and publish a 'carbon value' for every product and that was able to be input to an app, I doubt that many people would bother to do it fully and correctly and that by the time the majority of products finally had their carbon values calculated and published, Boulder Colorado would have a beach.

    Apps would only make those that could be bothered with them, feel better that they are doing what they can but it is not an answer.

    Possibly the only answer is disaster or totalitarian green government, or, all manufacturers and consumers to care about the environment rather than profits or convenience.

    Personally I think disaster is the odds on favourite to cross the finishing line first.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Boulder Colorado has had a beach for years.

      If all the ice in the world melted, sea level would not rise 5,328 feet. Boulder's safe.

    2. 1752

      I love Big Brother

      'totalitarian green government' file that under be careful what you wish for.

    3. LybsterRoy Silver badge

      You missed out the bit about putting prices up to compensate the manufacturers for following government legislation.

  2. Art Slartibartfast

    Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

    The one thing that marks the climate debate is incompetence and oversimplification. CO2 is not the control knob for the Earth's thermostat to regulate its average temperature.

    Not only that, the average temperature is a bonkers concept. Depending on who you ask, something around 15 °C is deemed ideal. Well I can tell you, if the world were to be uniformly at that temperature, the icecaps would melt and things would be far from ideal. Likewise if it were -50 °C at the poles and +70°C around the equator in a way that would also average out to 15 °C. On Earth we have thirty different climate types. The concept of an average temperature is a gross oversimplification.

    Yes, the world is warming, and yes, humans play a role in that, but it is nowhere near an issue that requires action. Still more people die of cold every year than of heat. the higher CO2 levels have significantly greened the planet according to NASA and crop yields break record after record every year. CO2 is plant food!

    1. Paul 195
      Flame

      Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

      >> Yes, the world is warming, and yes, humans play a role in that, but it is nowhere near an issue that requires action.

      There is no longer any controversy that climate change is being driven by burning fossil fuels, and that it is a serious threat to our civilisation. The fact that there are still people who seem to think these facts are in some way questionable shows the tremendous efficiency of the secretive campaigns run by the oil industry to promote the view that this is something we don't need to worry about.

      Climate science is difficult, and the maths is hard, but average temperature as a dashboard indicator for what is going wrong has the benefit of being a single metric that most people can understand. The fact that nowhere on earth is "average temperature" most of the time doesn't make it a "bonkers concept". It is a good proxy for the increasing amounts of thermal energy driving the weather system to become more chaotic and less predictable.

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/08/exxon-climate-change-1981-climate-denier-funding

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/sep/19/shell-and-exxons-secret-1980s-climate-change-warnings

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

        There is no longer any controversy that climate change is being driven by burning fossil fuels,

        WRONG.

        * CO2 is a lousy greenhouse gas. it does NOT in any significant way affect the amount of black body radiation sent out into space, which is the way the earth cools at night. Its IR absorption spectrum excludes the energies that correspond to ACTUAL TEMPERATURES FOUND ON EARTH.

        * CO2 is only 0.04% of the atmosphere and is at equilibrium both chemically AND biologically. Greatly increasing its production (or depletion) rate will generally have an insignificant effect on the equilibrium concentration. Chem 101.

        * CO2 concentration in the atmosphere varies due to temperature because the gas solubility in water varies THE SAME WAY. In other words, when it is colder, there is more CO2 in bodies of water, and less in the air, because the equilibrium reaction shifted due to the temperature of the water (and not the other way around). Soda goes flat faster when the liquid gets warm for this very reason.

        * WATER, the "other greenhouse gas", absorbs a SIGNIFICANT amount of black body radiation that would otherwise cool the earth, keeping that energy in the atmosphere (and causing a 'greenhouse effect').

        and so on

        Hardly "settled".

        (As for an app that actually helps you to lower your personal costs of fuel and electricity, that might actually be HELPFUL)

        1. Binraider Silver badge

          Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

          Shouting in all caps doesn't make your uninformed argument any more valid.

          Human activity changing the properties of the atmosphere, including gases like CO2, NOX, SF6 and others are definitively known to be in significantly greater concentrations in the atmosphere today than in 1750, directly attributable to industrialisation. There is no question that the composition has changed, and the properties have changed with downstream impact as a result.

          Particulates are everywhere. Dumping manufacturing to China has concentrated them there - and if you ever visit the place the smog is bloody disgusting (and known to be hazardous).

          And even if you dont subscribe to any of the above, you cannot possibly disagree with the view that breaking our dependency on countries we don't like for supply is a good thing, nor that the supply is finite and diminishing. Do you want your energy dollars funneled off to some gulf state or Russia?

          If at that point you're not convinced of the need for change on economic or climate grounds then you haven't been paying attention!

          Personal opinion - humanity is too self centred to man up and do what is necessary. It will take disasters to really motivate change on the scale needed. Fully aware persuading the third world to swap is even more of a challenge. As the late David Mackay said, if we all do a little, collectively we will achieve little.

          COP26 will be a field test of political will versus human stupidity. Look forward to seeing what comes out.

          1. druck Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

            Shouting in all caps doesn't make your uninformed argument any more valid.

            Are you new to the internet?

            1. LybsterRoy Silver badge

              Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

              Bob's been around a longish time. I think his caps lock key (or might be the shift key) gets stuck occasionally.

              However, rating the validity of his argument on the basis of excessive use of caps is not really a valid approach either.

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

            "COP26 will be a field test of political will versus human stupidity."

            Seeing as so-called "political will" almost always embodies the very worst of human stupidity, it should be the proverbial clusterfuck, no?

            "Look forward to seeing what comes out."

            Me too, but probably not for the reasons you are.

          3. LybsterRoy Silver badge

            Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

            "gases like CO2, NOX, SF6 and others are definitively known to be in significantly greater concentrations in the atmosphere today than in 1750"

            Do you have a link for that - I wasn't aware that they were measuring that back then.

            Again I recommend reading "Unsettled" by Steven Koomin

            Unlike Greta I do mot believe the science is settled.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less..it gets better

          You know that approx 30 Kelvin value for magnitude of the "Green House Effect"? When you try to find the full worked equation for how they derive that value its basically Black Body Temp = 260 Kelvin, Average Surface Temp = approx 290 Kelvin and 290 Kelvin - 260 Kelvin is 30 Kelvin...Ta Da..... Q.E.D...

          And thats it.

          No mention of the fact that its an very thin insulating gas layer on a solid / liquid surface with a temp of 289 Kelvin / 282 Kelvin. And that the liquid has an internal geothermal heat source (500 Kelvin+) that recirculates the equivalent of the whole liquid volume every 10^8 years.

          Now if you start with a geophysics model of the surface and add the gas lawyer on top then the temperature difference between the surface and gas at the interface is maybe 4 Kelvin.

          Thats what happens a bunch of guys who model very short term local changes in low density fluids ( gases) try to extend their local models to long term dynamics of very different global system.

          And you should see just how sloppy their numerical solutions are. If the atmospheric science guys were building bridges the bridges would fall down even before completion.

          1. Binraider Silver badge

            Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less..it gets better

            Dear Anonymous Coward. Your assertions that the modelling is that crude; the only suitable response is to call out your claims as "a load of bollocks". Cursory googling turns many, well peer reviewed papers linking changes in atmospheric conditions to composition of the atmosphere. As opposed to Fox news hyperbole as you appear to be a fan of. I highly recommend you go and read the late David Mackays book, sustainable energy without the hot air. It's freely downloadable, and if you have any role whatsoever in industry, you have no excuse not to read it.

            The world doesn't care one jot for our little argument on the El Reg's forums, and one suspects we will have to agree to disagree. Nor the thousands of similar arguments found all over social media. Our collective industrial actions have and, and will continue to have an impact on the climate and the environment. Addressing that is a laudable goal. Unless, on a long enough time frame, you want our successors to live in a wasteland.

            Besides climate change, the economic and geopolitical advantages of independence from oil and gas are highly valuable, and make a good case for changing irrespective of belief in climate change.If you aren't persuaded by either of these arguments, then you are entitled to your opinion!

            1. LybsterRoy Silver badge

              Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less..it gets better

              OK I'll trade you David Mackay for Steven Koomin.

              --Your assertions that the modelling is that crude; the only suitable response is to call out your claims as "a load of bollocks"--

              The modelling is crude. The earlier ones, and many of the current ones, ignore minor factors like "the sun". They also produce massively differing results and the dear old IPCC adds the results together and divides by the number of models and hey presto we have "we're doomed I tell you, doomed"

              Start looking at a) the fact that the models can't "predict" the past and b) their future predictions were wrong so they moved the timescale out to fortune telling and c) they started with the hockey stick graph which was created by cherry picking data and ignoring the majority of that data.

              The climate is changing - its done so since the planet was here. We've had period of more ice, less ice, hotter, cooler. How much change mankind is sponsoring I don't know and I very much doubt that these scientists you hold in high regard have any idea either. They seem to be more promoting an ideology not science!

        3. Paul 195

          Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

          We've missed you from these forums lately Bombastic Bob. But you're still revealing the mindset of someone who "prefers to do their own research" rather than someone who "prefers to listen to people who have spent years studying something and know far more about it than I ever will". A general understanding of some scientific principles and basic mathematics can be very useful for following an expert argument. But it isn't really enough to overturn that argument, particularly when nearly all the actual experts agree with the argument and each other.

          Still, you nearly persuaded me with all those capital letters, as used in all the finest scientific and philiosophical papers.

          1. SundogUK Silver badge

            Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

            "prefers to listen to people who have spent years studying something and know far more about it than I ever will"

            Even the Greeks knew that 'Argument from authority' was a fallacy...

          2. LybsterRoy Silver badge

            Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

            Firstly remember that any scientists who tried to disagree were canceled then add in this https://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/11/30/salary/

        4. Jaybus

          Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

          Under the water category, I would think an increase in atmospheric water would cause a corresponding increase in the Earth's albedo due to cloud cover. The reflection of solar radiation by atmospheric water would be more significant than its ability to reduce black-body radiation. An increase in atmospheric water would more likely decrease surface temps.

      2. Art Slartibartfast

        Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

        The Guardian is hardly an objective source of information. They are one of the 465 media organisations behind the Covering Climate Now project that tell media how to onesidedly push the climate change agenda. Their best practices (https://coveringclimatenow.org/resource/climate-reporting-best-practices/) are telling, especially nr. 10: "For God’s sake, do not platform climate denialists". Pretty weak story if it cannot stand any criticism. Note that climate modelers themselves have recently said their models run too hot to be believable (https://science.sciencemag.org/content/364/6437/222).

        Also telling is the use of the nonsensical term "climate denialist", because by association that places skeptics in the same camp as holocaust deniers. And by the way, what is there to deny about a definition? Climate is just the statistical properties of weather in a region.

        1. GrumpenKraut
          Meh

          Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

          > ...by association that places skeptics in the same camp as holocaust deniers.

          Where I live the overlap between these two camps is substantial.

      3. LybsterRoy Silver badge

        Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

        Try reading "Unsettled" by Steven E. Koonin

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

      CO2 is plant food!

      I understand that greenhouse farmers sometimes pump CO2 into their greenhouses for this reason.

      It's also part of 'biological equilbrium'.

      * CO2 concentration in the atmosphere goes up due to increased production rate of C02 by humans

      * plant and algae growth is stimulated

      * CO2 depletion rate increases due to additional plant growth

      * CO2 stabilizes at a level just slightly higher than before.

      Also worth noting that higher earth temperature ALSO causes elevated CO2 levels, since less gas can be dissolved in warmer water. I would think that the entire ocean's dumping of dissolved CO2 and carbonates through "effervescence" just might dwarf anything humans could due, because a natural temperature cycle caused an increase in oceanic temperature. Then plants grow faster, etc.

      These kinds of principles are generally taught in college chem classes. Ever do a phosphate titration?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Meh

        Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

        I believe the conclusions of climate scientists, the people who actually study this stuff, and amongst them there certainly is an overwhelming cast-iron consensus that climate change is being driven by human activities that increase the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide.

        1. Art Slartibartfast

          Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

          Science is about facts and evidence, not consensus.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

            OK, the consensus is that the facts and evidence point to human activity being the problem

            1. LybsterRoy Silver badge

              Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

              What facts, what evidence. I do not accept the output of a computer model as a fact nor the production of a graph based on cherry picking data.

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

          "I believe the conclusions of climate scientists, the people who actually study this stuff, and amongst them there certainly is an overwhelming cast-iron consensus that climate change is being driven by human activities that increase the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide."

          Is it just me, or does that scan like the Nicene Creed?

          1. LybsterRoy Silver badge

            Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

            Well, I wouldn't try and guess the exact flavour of god bothering, but generally - yes.

        3. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

          Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

          When you see the crappy stats these guys use, you'd be less certain.

        4. LybsterRoy Silver badge

          Re: Within limits, more CO2 would be better than less

          Science should not be a matter of belief it should deal with fact. The facts so far are the output of climate models most of which disagree with each other and the actual climate both in the past and probably the future.

  3. PhilipN Silver badge

    Does not work

    Like most things in life chanting the carbon footprint mantra is an exercise in self-deception. I have accumulated a massive carbon footprint just to get here. The carbon footprint required to build roads on which and the car in which I try to use less petrol similarly is massive. We'd better start emulating Fred Flintstone's family saloon on unpaved tracks to make a difference.

  4. jake Silver badge

    Individuals doing little things around the house ...

    ... aren't going to affect the Earth's climate, regardless of what your phone might tell you.

    It is industry that will have to change, and on a global level. Which isn't going to happen. Dollars say no.

    And even then I'm not entirely convinced it would make much difference. The climate will do what the climate will do, and I seriously doubt us puny humans can do anything about it over the long haul.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Meh

      Re: Individuals doing little things around the house ...

      A single individual doing little things around the house won't have much effect.

      But a billion individuals doing little things around the house will have more than a billion times the effect.

      1. Art Slartibartfast

        Re: Individuals doing little things around the house ...

        Which still amounts to something so small you cannot measure it. If all countries around the world would stick to the Paris climate accord until the year 2100, it would make a difference of 0.17 °C. (https://www.lomborg.com/press-release-research-reveals-negligible-impact-of-paris-climate-promises). China and India are not playing ball, so the result will be even smaller. And that is using the overheated calculation methods from the IPCC.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    So much

    Dunning-Kruger in the comments section. Or lust lying: it is hard to tell.

    1. Art Slartibartfast

      Re: So much

      The IPCC climate models are foundational to their conclusions. Through my profession I know a thing or two about numerical simulations. I have seen what the IPCC do with (to?) their climate models and it is flat out wrong.

      I am not not a climate scientist, but then again I do not have to know from the taste that the wine I am drinking is a 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon from the north slopes of Napa Valley from the Robert Mondavi winery to recognize that it has gone pretty sour. Bad modeling is like porn, you know it when you see it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So much

        > I have seen what the IPCC do with (to?) their climate models and it is flat out wrong.

        Which is?

        1. Art Slartibartfast

          Re: So much

          For one thing, they use a multitude of climate models and average them out to get a more 'accurate' result. Apparently, there is not one model that gets it right, because then they would use that one.

          Secondly, there are strict statistical conditions that need to be satisfied to make this a valid approach. The error must have a proven Gaussian distribution and the models must be independent. The first condition is not met because the models show bias towards warming. If you feed the models pink noise (random data that has similar statistical properties to weather measurements), they always show warming, where one expects that warming and cooling would be equally likely outcomes. The warming is hard-coded into the calculations.

          The second condition (independence) is also not met because the models share algorithms, and even in some cases parts of the same code base at the heart of their calculations.

          Despite this being statistics 101, the climate modelers ignore this. To add insult to injury, often enough calculation runs are terminated because of numerical instability leading to non-physical results. Running the same simulation twice with the same inputs leads to different results.

          None of the modeling is based on first principles, but on parameterisations. Cloud cover is not properly modeled, but is a major factor in real life.

          It is a huge mess. All models are wrong, some are useful and none are fit for policy making.

          1. LybsterRoy Silver badge

            Re: So much

            About the only thing I can see you missed out was the tweaking of parameters to try and get the right result aka cheating

        2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: So much

          Don't mention the 'f' word anywhere near a climate debate..

          But here's something that was prepared earlier-

          https://www.science.org/news/2021/07/un-climate-panel-confronts-implausibly-hot-forecasts-future-warming

          The models were also out of step with records of past climate. For example, scientists used the new model from NCAR to simulate the coldest point of the most recent ice age, 20,000 years ago. Extensive paleoclimate records suggest Earth cooled nearly 6°C compared with preindustrial times, but the model, fed with low ice age CO2 levels, had temperatures plummeting by nearly twice that much, suggesting it was far too sensitive to the ups and downs of CO2. "That is clearly outside the range of what the geological data indicate," says Jessica Tierney, a paleoclimatologist at the University of Arizona and a co-author of the work, which appeared in Geophysical Research Letters. "It's totally out there."

          So climate 'science', doing the impossible since err.. whenever Shell funded the motley CRU of 'Climategate' fame. But sceptics have been pointing out low CO2 sensitivity to people like Gavin Schmidt, even before Fenton Communications set up his 'RealClimate' website for him and his mates. Quite why a bunch of comp.sci Phd's would need a PR company to spin up a simple blog is anyone's guess. Mine is Fenton's links with Al Gore, and the timing around his 'Inconvenient Truths'. Of course most of the predictions in Gore's disaster movie have been falsified.

          But I digress.

          Whenever reality and simulation disagree, it's usually reality that's wrong. 'The science' cannot be wrong. People have spent billions on carbon trading schemes. It can't be wrong.

          Or it can. To paraphrase wot Science said, to get the temperature changes shown in the historical climate model (simulated), CO2 sensitivity needs to be high. Dogma then states that the reason why CO2 levels have increases is because of Man(n). We roughly know how much CO2 and temperatures have increased in say, the last hundred years. So we also know temps have been 6C lower than our current 'record'.

          So then there's a.. slight problem where less CO2 gives more warming, which is why the 'CO2 control knob' theory is basically homeopathy. But fear not, noble climate scientists are still determined to erase the past-

          https://climateaudit.org/2021/08/11/the-ipcc-ar6-hockeystick/

      2. Chris Miller

        Re: So much

        If you allow me four free parameters I can build a mathematical model that describes exactly everything that an elephant can do. If you allow me a fifth free parameter, the model I build will forecast that the elephant will fly.

        John von Neumann (1903-1957), a man who knew a bit about computers and mathematical modelling. How many free parameters are there in a typical atmospheric model?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Happy

          Re: So much

          Your contention is that any kind of mathematical modelling is useless? Fancy taking a guess at how many free parameters the finite element model of the stress fields in the aircraft you last travelled in had, and yet you still flew in it.

          Fortunately for you in your last airplane trip, and for climate research, computational models are invariably qualified by being tested against experimental or observational results.

          1. Art Slartibartfast

            Re: So much

            That is the whole problem. The models are not verified, nor validated.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Happy

              Re: So much

              You obviously can't be arsed to follow the links I provided in my post.

        2. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

          Re: So much

          I seem to remember it's about seven.

      3. jake Silver badge

        Re: So much

        IMO, the Mondavi family's plonk from the Napa Valley is over-priced for what it is. You want the cheap stuff made in Lodi's Woodbridge winery ... As good as or better wine, for a much better price. If you want to spend money, go for Opus One.

        Rest in peace, Bob.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wake me up once China gets onboard

    https://energypost.eu/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/word-image-9.png

    Why the hell should the West cripple growth, productivity and the standard of living of its citizens in pursuit of the CO2 cult when there's a country out there pumping more of the stuff into the atmosphere than the rest of the world combined, with no intention of reaching a peak before 2040?

    Of course, perhaps that's the agenda all along. Rolling blackouts from national grids dependant on flaky renewable power sources will make it very easy for the CCP to waltz in and take charge. All under the behest of dear leader President Xiden/Bai Deng, no doubt!

    1. Thought About IT

      Re: Wake me up once China gets onboard

      If you're awake, you can help cut China's CO2 emissions yourself: simply stop buying stuff that's made there. Our emissions look good in comparison, because we offshored our manufacturing there.

  7. heyrick Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Properly accounting for CO2 will require an effort.

    I'm sure it will require effort. That's why I don't bother.

    I don't fly, my dinky car is a two cylinder diesel that drinks a lot less than other cars, and I recycle.

    So why don't I care about counting CO2? It's because I work at a company that creates a lot of plastic waste. In fact, a lot of waste generally. If this is representative of the industry, then it utterly takes the piss that we homeowners get screwed for ever rising costs for rubbish collection, not to mention possible fines for recycling incorrectly. In the past couple of years, my wheelie bin changed for one a third of the size that is now collected half as frequently (in other words, six times less). Am I paying six times less in the rates? What do you think...

    Yet "industry" throws out obscene amounts, and since they "create value" and "drive the economy" and other lame-ass excuses, it's us that have to think of the environment.

    If you really want to save the planet, start with the polluters.

  8. Snowy Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Hello Australia

    What is in like living in a county than is doing nothing to combat climate change whist being paid by the fossill fuel induestry or is Juice Media wrong?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfT-FBU-7cI

    1. Denarius Silver badge

      Re: Hello Australia

      for starters, from the Japanese satellite that mapped CO2 flows in Earth atmosphere, Oz absorbs far more CO2 than it emits. Just from CO2 dissolved in dew reacting with bare rocks and our mostly empty continent covered in scrub, grasses and spinifex.

      BTW, measuring CO2 footprint in itself is an interesting exercise in surveillance. As in measuring mining the rare earths and heavy metals for batteries and magnets, moving said ores, processing ores, moving refined materials, making bits for toys like electric cars and useful devices like phone, then shipping said products to sale points. Add in the massive emissions from building windmills with (in Oz) an energy production at best 15%, usually about 5% of rated output. Then the new costs and releases of CO2 to dispose of toxic end of life products like solar cells. Already an issue in my rural town. The bureaucracy involved would emit a lot of CO2 in the collecting, processing and bleating about it. It almost looks like a soft power influence of the gullible classes, ie academics, UN bureaucrats and aristocrats, wealthy and wannabe to benefit a single country.

      1. Snowy Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Hello Australia

        Are you including all the fossil fuels that Australia exports?

  9. Snowy Silver badge
    Facepalm

    While it did not

    Help you with your Co2 footprint it did help itself to some lovely personal data!

  10. Draco
    Windows

    Univariate focus is likely to lead to unanticipated consequences

    Focusing solely on CO2 is likely to get you to a bad place. It might be something you want to keep an eye on, but you have to keep an eye on a whole lot of things - and you might not know what those things should be.

    Incentivizing decreasing CO2, incentivizes doing things to reduce C02, which de-incentivizes considering the consequences of reducing C02 -- imagine someone found you could cut C02 by adding something like lead or mercury compounds to the mix.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perverse_incentive

  11. LybsterRoy Silver badge

    "We always hear that 'you can't change what you don't measure'."

    I thought the correct saying was "If you don't measure it, you can't manage it!" nothing to do with change.

    The other thing is I spent the early part of my career in work study & industrial engineering and I can confidently say that many things are measured that shouldn't be either because they are a waste of time or are positively anti-beneficial.

    Here's a little thought experiment for you: assume that whatever the cause of climate change humanity can't stop it, or stop it in time. What should humanity be doing instead of wasting time bemoaning the lack of an app to actively prepare for events such as the rise of sea levels. All those nice people worrying about their carbon footprint might have a bit of difficulty keeping their feet dry.

  12. grumpy-old-person

    The problem is simply too many people wanting too many unnecessaey things

    Image if there were only 1 billion people on the planet - we could probably all have as much as we wanted.

    But only until the population size exploded!

    It seems literally unbelievable that overpopulation - with unsustainable strain on limited resources - is hardly ever used as the basis for a solution to what people have done (and are still doing to the planet)

    It will not end well for homo sapiens (and many other species too)

    I used to think that I will escape the inevitable disaster because I am already 73 years old, but I wonder if I will

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