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Climate sinister publicity ploy  what is carbon footprint | Upload General

Sinister Publicity Ploy: What Is Carbon Footprint

by: Sharai Hoekema
sinister publicity ploy  what is carbon footprint | Upload

If I ask you what your carbon footprint is, what would you say? A size 8, 9? A 10, perhaps? Or would you stare at me in wonder as you try to figure out what it is I am trying to measure?  First hint. It has nothing to do with your apparel, nor is it related to your footwear. Second hint. It is totally and utterly meaningless.

What Is Carbon Footprint

Still nothing? Let me help you out. The carbon footprint, also known as your individual greenhouse gas emissions total, measures your total emissions-related impact on the environment. Your emissions-stats. It can be applied to any individual, product, service, organization, event, or institution to gauge how bad it is for the climate. In that aspect, the number appears to show some sizing, with a larger number meaning that you are pumping way more CO2 in the air than you give back to it.

Ironically enough, this term ‘carbon footprint’ did not come into existence until the turn of the century - and we have the British petroleum company BP to thank for it. In a rare and unmistakably deceitful attempt at greenwashing their operations, they launched a marketing campaign to popularise their masterminded concept of ‘carbon footprint.’

World-map-with-the CO2-emissions-per-person

Where in the world does the average person emit the most carbon dioxide (CO2) each year?

We can calculate each country's average citizen's contribution by dividing its total emissions by its population. This gives us CO2 emissions per capita. In the visualization, we see the differences in per capita emissions across the world. 

Source Our World Data

Recommended: CO2 Storage: Everything You Need To Know

A Masterminded Campaign

The question ‘What is a carbon footprint?’ was hurled at you from any direction. Your TV, radio, magazines - no efforts were spared. In 2004, the company even launched its very own “carbon footprint calculator” on its website, which would ask for input and then display how your daily life effectively impacted global warming. 

Despicable, yet genius. Even if they intended it to blow up as it did, BP executives would not have been able to foresee how not even two short decades later, the term has spread like wildfire amongst environmental groups. Crafted at the desks of brainwashing masterminds Ogilvy & Mather, the campaign effectively changed the direction of blame. 

Shifting The Blame

It is not the poor, innocent companies that are knowingly burning harmful fossil fuels. They are not the ones that are to blame. You are the consumer responsible for polluting the world while you go about your daily life. After all, if you were to make better choices, companies like BP would not be forced to drill into our Earth’s core for all of our well-being. Right?

Diagram-in-many-colors-showing-CO2-per-activity

Source Easel.ly

Recommended: Business Air Travel Going Green: Zero Emissions

The message caught on, and now everyone’s looking for their carbon footprint. People wear theirs like a badge of honor or condemn and publicly shame others when their numbers are not quite as impressive. BP managed to coin a term that seamlessly found its way into our daily conversations. And yes, knowing your carbon footprint is not that bad, nor is the idea of holding individuals responsible for their emissions—a small drop in the ocean and all that.

Low Carbon Diet Will Not Save Us

A low-carbon diet is healthy for all of us, but we will not save the world by sticking to it. Sorry. More action is needed from those very same companies that are now so eagerly pointing fingers at consumers, making ‘them’ responsible. Smooth, but utterly false. The large carbon deposits are the ones that should be dealt with - and they are not under the supervision of individuals.

Even crazier, any person living in a high-carbon society is burdened with a high carbon footprint, nothing they can do about it. Studies have shown that even a homeless person with nothing to his name will produce a number that, let’s put it nicely, could use some work.’ And while individuals may feel empowered by the carbon footprint as it gives them something to work towards, a way of fighting climate change on their own - the sad reality is that it is not up to them, fancy publicity campaigns about ‘making a change today’ be damned.

Recommended: Blue Planet Earth: The Amount Of Water You Use

Look At Your Footprint

It is about time that BP started looking at its carbon footprint. Spoiler alert, for the term's inventors, their performance does not quite meet the same standards that they hold their Twitter followers. No low-carbon diet here when you are still earning your money with oil and gas. Do not claim to be ‘greening up’ when your production had barely dropped its fossil fuel production from 4 million barrels in 2005 to 3.8 million in 2020. Be a big boy and own your messes instead of shifting them to others.

Cover photo, Hans van der Broek

What is a carbon footprint, after all, when you are spending a measly 2.3% of your total budget on renewable energy? I guess at least a size 20.

Before you go!

Recommended: Getting Healthier By Eating Sustainable Food And Taking Exercise

Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below.
We try to respond the same day.

Like to write your article about your carbon footprint?

Send your writing & scribble with a photo to [email protected], and we will write an interesting article based on your input.

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Sinister Publicity Ploy: What Is Carbon Footprint

If I ask you what your carbon footprint is, what would you say? A size 8, 9? A 10, perhaps? Or would you stare at me in wonder as you try to figure out what it is I am trying to measure?    First hint. It has nothing to do with your apparel, nor is it related to your footwear. Second hint. It is totally and utterly meaningless. What Is Carbon Footprint Still nothing? Let me help you out. The carbon footprint, also known as your individual greenhouse gas emissions total, measures your total emissions-related impact on the environment. Your emissions-stats. It can be applied to any individual, product, service, organization, event, or institution to gauge how bad it is for the climate. In that aspect, the number appears to show some sizing, with a larger number meaning that you are pumping way more CO2 in the air than you give back to it. Ironically enough, this term ‘carbon footprint’ did not come into existence until the turn of the century - and we have the British petroleum company BP to thank for it. In a rare and unmistakably deceitful attempt at greenwashing their operations, they launched a marketing campaign to popularise their masterminded concept of ‘carbon footprint.’ Where in the world does the average person emit the most carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) each year? We can calculate each country's average citizen's contribution by dividing its total emissions by its population. This gives us CO 2  emissions per capita. In the visualization, we see the differences in per capita emissions across the world.  Source Our World Data Recommended:  CO2 Storage: Everything You Need To Know A Masterminded Campaign The question ‘What is a carbon footprint?’ was hurled at you from any direction. Your TV, radio, magazines - no efforts were spared. In 2004, the company even launched its very own “carbon footprint calculator” on its website, which would ask for input and then display how your daily life effectively impacted global warming.   Despicable, yet genius. Even if they intended it to blow up as it did, BP executives would not have been able to foresee how not even two short decades later, the term has spread like wildfire amongst environmental groups. Crafted at the desks of brainwashing masterminds Ogilvy & Mather, the campaign effectively changed the direction of blame.   Shifting The Blame It is not the poor, innocent companies that are knowingly burning harmful fossil fuels. They are not the ones that are to blame. You are the consumer responsible for polluting the world while you go about your daily life. After all, if you were to make better choices, companies like BP would not be forced to drill into our Earth’s core for all of our well-being. Right? Source Easel.ly Recommended:  Business Air Travel Going Green: Zero Emissions The message caught on, and now everyone’s looking for their carbon footprint. People wear theirs like a badge of honor or condemn and publicly shame others when their numbers are not quite as impressive. BP managed to coin a term that seamlessly found its way into our daily conversations. And yes, knowing your carbon footprint is not that bad, nor is the idea of holding individuals responsible for their emissions—a small drop in the ocean and all that. Low Carbon Diet Will Not Save Us A low-carbon diet is healthy for all of us, but we will not save the world by sticking to it. Sorry. More action is needed from those very same companies that are now so eagerly pointing fingers at consumers, making ‘them’ responsible. Smooth, but utterly false. The large carbon deposits are the ones that should be dealt with - and they are not under the supervision of individuals. Even crazier, any person living in a high-carbon society is burdened with a high carbon footprint, nothing they can do about it. Studies have shown that even a homeless person with nothing to his name will produce a number that, let’s put it nicely, could use some work.’ And while individuals may feel empowered by the carbon footprint as it gives them something to work towards, a way of fighting climate change on their own - the sad reality is that it is not up to them, fancy publicity campaigns about ‘making a change today’ be damned. Recommended:  Blue Planet Earth: The Amount Of Water You Use Look At Your Footprint It is about time that BP started looking at its carbon footprint. Spoiler alert, for the term's inventors, their performance does not quite meet the same standards that they hold their Twitter followers. No low-carbon diet here when you are still earning your money with oil and gas. Do not claim to be ‘greening up’ when your production had barely dropped its fossil fuel production from 4 million barrels in 2005 to 3.8 million in 2020. Be a big boy and own your messes instead of shifting them to others. Cover photo, Hans van der Broek What is a carbon footprint, after all, when you are spending a measly 2.3% of your total budget on renewable energy? I guess at least a size 20. Before you go! Recommended:  Getting Healthier By Eating Sustainable Food And Taking Exercise Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your article about your carbon footprint ? Send your writing & scribble with a photo to  [email protected] , and we will write an interesting article based on your input.
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