US President Barack Obama yesterday boosted hopes of a global climate deal in Copenhagen next month saying the world had moved closer to a “strong operational agreement” on climate change. Closer to home, our own Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said Kenya would work to restore tree cover and explore renewable energy options as its contribution to combating climate change ahead of next month's climate summit in Copenhagen.
With all the current buzz about climate change in the lead-up to the Copenhagen summit, I decided to calculate my own 'carbon footprint'. Your carbon footprint is the sum of all emissions of CO2 (carbon dioxide), which were induced by your activities in a given time frame. Usually a carbon footprint is calculated for the time period of a year.
Many carbon footprint calculators are available on the web, but not all of them are relevant to the Kenyan situation. Your carbon footprint is partly determined by the country in which you live. The reason is there are different standards depending on your country of residence and different units of measurement. And different countries have varying carbon footprints for electricity generation.
I used this carbon footprint calculator powered by Carbon Footprint. The results are shocking!
- My footprint is 11.80 tonnes per year
- The average footprint for people in Kenya is 0.31 tonnes
- The average for the industrial nations is about 11 tonnes
- The average worldwide carbon footprint is about 4 tonnes
- The worldwide target to combat climate change is 2 tonnes
When I looked at my carbon footprint graphic, it reminded me of the legendary but boring Bigfoot movies like Harry and the Hendersons. Yes, my carbon footprint is bigger than the average footprint for people in Kenya, bigger than the average worldwide carbon footprint, and even bigger than the average for the industrial nations. Since we are not talking about the size of my manhood here - which wouldn't be a cause for alarm - but about the size of my carbon footprint, something needs to be done about it here and now.
So now I will have to start reducing my contribution to the carbon emissions that are destroying our earth. Apart from reducing my carbon footprint, I should also offset my carbon emissions. In Kenya, this is now fucking easy, since you can just Swear For A Tree, thanks to @Kahenya and @afromusing. So go and calculate your carbon footprint now, try to reduce it, then swear away, and tell me what the hell you think about this great tree planting initiative.
Oh, and if you're bored, you can always watch a Bigfoot movie or read a Bigfoot story to your kids: