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Author Topic: I'm awesome, and it still takes almost 4 whole planets to sustain me  (Read 5850 times)
Maggie
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« Reply #15: January 23, 2009, 12:44:47 pm »

http://www.myfootprint.org/en/visitor_information/

Really interesting quiz about energy and resource consumption. My  carbon footprint was relatively low, for an american, but we really fell down on goods consumption.

My carbon footprint and the goods and services were both relatively low.  My problem was the food.  It was 111.4 (average 65.7).  Although we have a small garden in our yard, it didn't cancel out the fact that we love meat and eat it every day. 
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Star
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« Reply #16: January 23, 2009, 12:57:37 pm »


I had some trouble with some of the questions, too.  (Just in food:   Omnivore or carnivore?  Well, we eat meat several times a week--with Hubby supposed to be limiting his phosphorous and potassium, that sort of eliminates a lot of alternative proteins--but we also eat the variety of fruits, veggies, etc. described for omnivores.  Also, I echo Sperran's (?) complaint about food sourcing.  And how about "one large meal and several snacks", rather than assuming those who eat fewer large meals also eat less snacks?  Huh)

I turned up low on food, housing, and goods and services, but high on carbon.  (I suspect the kicker there was my commute--34-ish miles each way and no one to carpool with.  I drive a hybrid now, but even that only helps so much.)  My total was 5.09 earths.  Sad
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« Reply #17: January 23, 2009, 01:08:13 pm »

Lol, yeah, that's kinda what I was thinking, and in line with the title of the thread.  It's odd that we are proud of ourselves for thinking that we live in such a way that we "only need 2 Earths" to sustain us.  Much less the 3, 4, 5, etc. needed for some of us.

I think, though, that this is an issue that goes beyond any of us individually.  I suspect that most people in a modern Western society would be hard-pressed to bring that number down to 1 Earth.  There are things we can do to help, but I would suspect (and, again, these are just my personal guesses; I don't have research to back it up) that even that will only go so far unless we actually change how the system works overall.  Some of that's obvious, things like developing alternative energy sources and alternative fuels for vehicles and such.  Some of it's maybe on a different level--I wonder, for example, what would happen if there were a little more incentive to grow more of one's own food, and resources available to help people figure out how to do that even if they feel they're too short on time or energy (or talent).  (Actually, that might be a good thread to start here at TC...  *wanders off*)
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« Reply #18: January 24, 2009, 10:49:23 am »

but I would suspect (and, again, these are just my personal guesses; I don't have research to back it up) that even that will only go so far unless we actually change how the system works overall. 

I was thinking about this the other day, after reading the survivalist thread. And I realized just how hard it actually would be to get back to that state;
food; you can grow veggies, goats, chicken and rabbits in a fair sized garden, but you need a large area of land for grain, an orchard for fruit - and you need to be near water with fish for some vital fatty acids. Without some of this you can pretty much expect some level of malnourishment.
health; our nearest doctor is 20 min by car away. Although basic hygiene is still possible 'on a shoestring', a child birth could still end in death for mother or child (my eldest had to be induced; would he have survived without the tech and the fuel needed to get me to hospital?). Herbs will only get you so far, unfortunately.
And shelter; sure we can use the current house - for a little while. Then every maintenance task becomes harder and harder - paint, nails, needing access to a forest for timber...

I haven't even started on musing about electricity - whether our current society even can be accomplished on alternative sources (water, fusion, solar, wind, whatever) - or if there will be a shortage that requires us to rethink radically how our communities are built up.

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Finn
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« Reply #19: January 24, 2009, 07:02:30 pm »

2.22 earths

Living on public transport really pulls the figures down.

Yup. Based purely on me and my roomie's habits we need about 1.89 Earths. Basically, one for each of us.  Cheesy

Though, I'm unclear on a lot of the numbers with the travel part--I drive a little when I'm at home in Texas, and here in Philly I walk pretty much everywhere, and I don't have a clear grip on how many miles I travel on the bus or subway (like when I take Greyhound to NYC). I very rarely use the train, and I fly home (about 2000 miles) about twice a year.

If I were clearer on those numbers, I expect the numbers would change quite a lot.
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Melamphoros
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« Reply #20: January 24, 2009, 07:18:48 pm »

If I were clearer on those numbers, I expect the numbers would change quite a lot.

Exactly my case.  I've only had my driver's license for maybe half a year and I only drive to school and walk everywhere else.  And for the past few months I had to take an alternate (re: longer) rout because of construction.  And there are some things about the building I live in that I just don't know.
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« Reply #21: January 24, 2009, 09:52:47 pm »

Lol, yeah, that's kinda what I was thinking, and in line with the title of the thread.  It's odd that we are proud of ourselves for thinking that we live in such a way that we "only need 2 Earths" to sustain us.  Much less the 3, 4, 5, etc. needed for some of us.

I was thinking that to. For kicks, I took it twice. Once answering honestly (I got like 4.5 or something) then once trying different things to see which answer got the biggest cut in the numbers, basically trying to fake out the quiz. I did this while USA was selected as the country,(I don't know if that makes a difference or not), but even answering perfectly by the programs standards, I still came out at 1.07 earths, which is still .07 earths too many considering how many we've got. So what does that say?  Smiley
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Altair
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« Reply #22: January 25, 2009, 12:08:07 am »

2.22 earths

Living on public transport really pulls the figures down.


4.81 Earths for me (I feel like Galactus...for those of you who know Marvel comics)...which is depressingly high, considering that I bike to work most days and use public transportation almost exclusively.

My carbon footprint was way below the national average; only my food footprint exceeded the nat'l avg, which makes sense, considering I take my gym training seriously and eat accordingly (i.e., a lot of high protein meals each day).
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Fagan_the_Pagan
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« Reply #23: January 25, 2009, 01:50:30 am »

I was thinking that to. For kicks, I took it twice. Once answering honestly (I got like 4.5 or something) then once trying different things to see which answer got the biggest cut in the numbers, basically trying to fake out the quiz. I did this while USA was selected as the country,(I don't know if that makes a difference or not), but even answering perfectly by the programs standards, I still came out at 1.07 earths, which is still .07 earths too many considering how many we've got. So what does that say?  Smiley
Huh.  I had figured that the country you chose was only for purposes of comparing your score to the average, but that 1.07 score makes me wonder if the country actually affects the score.  Or maybe humans just naturally throw off the balance, and it's not possible for us to live without ultimately destroying our planet. Tongue
I'd like to think that wasn't the case, and given the fact that we were once hunter-gatherer's I pretty sure it isn't the case.  Maybe our society is impossible to support indefinitely with only one planet, but not humankind as a rule.
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