Carbon Footprint of Everything
by Berners-lee, Mike







Introduction1(5)
A brief guide to carbon footprints6(10)
Less than 10 grams
A pint (16 oz) of tap water
16(1)
An email
17(3)
A Google search
20(1)
A text message
21(1)
A plastic grocery bag
22(1)
Drying your hands
23(2)
10 to 100 grams
A paper bag
25(1)
Ironing a shirt
26(1)
A Zoom call
27(1)
A 100 g (3 oz) serving of carrots
28(1)
An apple
29(1)
A mile by electric bike
30(2)
Walking through a door
32(1)
Boiling a liter (a quart) of water
33(2)
Traveling a mile by bus
35(1)
Cycling a mile
36(2)
100 to 500 grams (3.5 to 17.5 oz)
A 200 g (7 oz) serving of boiled potatoes
38(2)
A banana
40(1)
A diaper
41(1)
An orange
42(1)
A supermarket delivery
43(2)
Traveling a mile by train
45(2)
An hour watching TV
47(3)
A shower
50(1)
A unit of heat
51(2)
A letter (and other mail)
53(2)
A unit of electricity
55(2)
A newspaper
57(2)
A liter (32 oz) bottle of water
59(1)
A bowl of oatmeal
60(1)
A roll of toilet paper
61(1)
Washing dishes
62(2)
A 250 g (8 oz) clamshell of strawberries
64(2)
500 grams to 1 kilo (1.1 to 2.2 pounds)
An ice cream or popsicle
66(1)
Driving a mile
67(2)
A latte (or a tea or coffee)
69(2)
1 kg (2.2 lbs) of trash to landfill
71(2)
A loaf of bread
73(1)
A pint (16 oz) of beer
74(2)
A 10-inch pizza
76(2)
A 200 g (7 oz) serving offish
78(1)
Spending $1
79(1)
A paperback book
80(2)
Taking a bath
82(1)
1 to 10 kilos (2.2 to 22 pounds)
A pint (16 oz) of milk
83(3)
A 250 g (8 oz) bunch of asparagus
86(1)
A bottle of wine
87(2)
A bunch of flowers
89(2)
A carton of eggs
91(2)
A day's protein (50 g/2 oz)
93(3)
A load of laundry
96(1)
Desalinating 1,000 liters (264 gallons) of water
97(2)
250 g (8 oz) of cheese
99(2)
A 125 g (4 oz) burger
101(2)
1 kg (2.2 lbs) of rice
103(2)
A takeout taco
105(1)
1 kg (2.2 lbs) of plastic
106(2)
1 kg (2.2 lbs) of tomatoes
108(1)
A 250 g (8 oz) steak
109(2)
10 to 100 kilos (22 to 220 pounds)
A pair of shoes
111(1)
A pair of pants
112(2)
A rush-hour car commute
114(1)
A bag of cement (25 kg/55 lbs)
115(2)
Leaving the lights on
117(1)
A night in a hotel
118(2)
A leg of lamb (2 kg/4.4 lbs)
120(2)
A week's food shopping
122(2)
New York City to Niagara Falls and back
124(2)
Using a smartphone
126(3)
100 to 1,000 kilos (220 pounds to 1 ton)
A 50-liter (13-gallon) tank of gas
129(2)
A necklace
131(1)
Christmas excess
132(3)
A new carpet
135(1)
Insulating an attic
136(2)
A funeral
138(2)
A computer (and using it)
140(2)
A pet
142(2)
A mortgage
144(2)
1 to 10 tons
An operation
146(2)
A ton of steel
148(2)
A ton of nitrogen fertilizer
150(2)
Flying from Los Angeles to Barcelona return
152(2)
Solar panels
154(3)
10 to 1,000 tons
A new car
157(4)
A person (annual footprint)
161(2)
Space tourism and travel
163(2)
A wind turbine
165(2)
A new-build house
167(3)
A car crash
170(1)
Having a child
171(3)
Millions of tons
A volcano
174(1)
The World Cup (soccer)
175(1)
A new coal mine
176(2)
Cryptocurrencies
178(1)
The Cloud and the world's data centers
179(2)
The USA (and other countries)
181(4)
Billions of tons
Wildfires
185(2)
The world's it
187(3)
A war
190(1)
Deforestation
191(2)
Black carbon
193(1)
The world's annual emissions
194(3)
Burning the world's fossil-fuel reserves
197(5)
Negative emissions
Planting trees
202(1)
Marine planting
203(1)
Soil carbon sequestration
204(1)
Biochar
204(1)
BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage)
205(1)
Enhanced rock weathering
206(1)
DACCS (direct air capture and carbon storage)
207(2)
What can we do?209(23)
Where the numbers come from232(6)
Appendix: Calculating footprints238(6)
Notes and references244(43)
Thanks287(3)
Index290


Discusses the carbon footprint-the carbon emissions used to manufacture and transport-everyday items, including paper bags and imported produce, and provides information to help build carbon considerations into everyday purchases.





Mike Berners Lee is a leading expert in carbon footprinting and the author of several books. He is a professor and fellow of the Institute for Social Futures at Lancaster University and director and principal consultant of Small World Consulting, based in the Lancaster Environment Centre.





*Starred Review* This new edition of How Bad Are Bananas? (2010) comes with a new title and updated numbers. The numbers are, as Berners-Lee states, "the best estimate we can get of the full climate change impact of something." His ideal for everyone on this planet is to adopt a five-ton lifestyle, referring to a person's carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) footprint per year; in the U.S., the average person's CO2e footprint is about 21 tons per year, so this is no small hurdle. In order to clarify what we do and use that generates this large of a footprint, chapters are divided by the amount of CO2e emitted, starting from less than 10 grams (like a cup of water or an email) to billions of tons (like wildfires and war) to those things that have negative emissions (like planting trees). Within each chapter are footnotes and references as to how Berners-Lee arrived at the numbers. He also includes chapters on what options exist to remove atmospheric CO2 and what each of us can do to lower our individual CO2e impact. This book, a user-friendly reminder of our environmental impact, will find an audience among patrons concerned about climate change. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.





An up-to-date life guide for carbon-conscious readers. In this "extensively revised and updated" edition of his 2010 book, How Bad Are Bananas, Berners-Lee offers an easy, often amusing read. Unfortunately, despite the traditional what-we-can-do-to-fix-it final chapter, the end result is not more than mildly encouraging. Since the author wrote Bananas, the global climate crisis has gotten much worse. Temperatures are rising faster than predicted; weather has deteriorated; trees are flowering sooner than they should; polar ice is melting, and sea levels are rising. The author adds that humans produced 56 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, and emissions continue to rise, "as if humans had never noticed climate change." The average American has an annual carbon footprint of 21 tons, while the global average is just over seven. Berners-Lee proposes five tons as a sensible goal. This may sound impossible, but he reminds readers that America is a very unequal society, and the extremely wealthy drive the average up by their "carbon-profligate lifestyles." However, since a single commercial flight from New York City to Seoul burns around 4.7 tons, many readers will remain doubtful. With the unpleasantness out of the way, readers can enjoy the fun (at least at the beginning) as Berners-Lee reveals the carbon footprints of hundreds of elements in our lives, starting small-tap water, email, a paper bag, a diaper; then moving up to a roll of toilet paper, washing dishes, driving a mile, taking a bath, using a smartphone-and ending with the big stuff: making a ton of steel, a plane flight, space travel, wildfires, wars, deforestation. Ending on the traditional positive note, the author shows more good sense than usual. Individual efforts (recycling, bicycling) are trivial, but we should do them to create a new norm. If enough of us live within our carbon budget, wasting it (the norm today) will become uncool. More bad news about climate change but entertaining and often practical. Copyright Kirkus 2022 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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