Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Monday, August 08, 2005

One Tonne Challenge

Pretty green bar borrowed from www.climatechange.gc.ca

Rick Mercer is the government's spokesperson for the One-Tonne Challenge. A good choice: He's a really hilarious guy and I like him a lot. The challenege is to voluntarily reduce your Greenhouse Gas Emissions in an effort to reduce worldwide pollution levels.

Congratulations if you've taken on the challenge!

But this challenge has me a little miffed. I went to the website and started using the GHG calculator which would tell me how much Greenhouse Gas Emissions I am responsible for. Because I am so environmentally conscientious, I knew my number would be very low.

I was wrong. According to the calculator, my emissions are way above the national average! But the calculator is vague, incorrect, incomplete and just plain stupid. It's a government website. Surprise. The biggest problem was that, since my house was built before 1946, I had to select that my house was "pre-1946". This is where the trouble starts. The genius who designed this website programmed the calculator to ASSUME that if you select "pre-1946", then everything in your house from your furnace to your fridge, to your showerheads, is pre-1946.

I am not kidding.

At the end, you are able to select the options you'd be willing to take to reduce your GHG emissions, such as installing low-flow aerator faucets and showerheads. This is where I fixed everything. The website suggested I upgrade my old furnace to a modern, high-efficiency one. When I clicked that button, it reduced my GHG number - by a lot! Since I already have a brand new modern forced air high efficiency gas furnace, this button just brought me to where I should have been in the first place.

The calculator thinks I produce 6.13 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year. The national average is 5.5 tonnes. I was totally insulted to think Jimmy Dillnuts in his SUV creates less greenhouse gas than I do by biking to work! So I checked off all the boxes that are the steps I'm supposedly taking to reduce my emissions. I clicked buttons for my Energy-Star appliances, insulation values, windows, etc., etc., etc. which gave me my new Greenhouse Gas Emission number. Instead of achieving this number, it is actually my current greenhouse gas emissions: 3.88 tonnes. A much better number.

So how do I reduce my number to 2.88? Now that I can't press any buttons to see how to reduce my emissions even more, where do I go from here?

On a related note, how do I reduce my anger by one tonne, since the government has pushed all my buttons?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you considered Hari Krishna?

Sorry, I couldn't resist. I just watched the Muppet Movie on teh weekend and that was the running joke through it.

4:03:00 PM


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