"'The catalytic converter has had a profound impact on our environment,' says Jim Kliesch, senior engineer for the Union of Concerned Scientists. Advances in the catalytic converter, which rolled out on GM's 1975 model-year cars, and computer-controlled fuel injection technology have all but eliminated tailpipe emissions, he says."
Reproduction and the Carbon Legacies of Individuals
This paper, published by Oregon State University professors Paul Murtaugh of the Department of Statistics and Micheal Schlax of the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, extends the study of individual's carbon footprints to the realm of reproduction. Essentially: having a child is deemed an enlargement of a person's carbon footprint, or 'legacy.' While this is a simple truth - people use carbon, more people use more carbon - the implications of implementing such a mindset into policy-making decisions is startling, regardless of how you view the climate change issue. There are constructive and sustainable ways to approach the climate change issue, and there are destructive and dangerous ways that will affect our future in unforeseen ways. You decide where this track would lead us.
Abstract: "Much attention has been paid to the ways that people's home energy use, travel, food choices and other routine activities affect their emissions of carbon dioxide and, ultimately, their contributions to global warming. However, the reproductive choices of an individual are rarely incorporated into calculations of his personal impact on the environment. Here we estimate the extra emissions of fossil carbon dioxide that an average individual causes when he or she chooses to have children. The summed emissions of a person's descendants, weighted by their relatedness to him, may far exceed the lifetime emissions produced by the original parent. Under current conditions in the United States, for example, each child adds about 9441 metric tons of carbon dioxide to the carbon legacy of an average female, which is 5.7 times her lifetime emissions. A person's reproductive choices must be considered along with his day-to-day activities when assessing his ultimate impact on the global environment."
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