“Overall, becoming a carbon-neutral country would involve changes in our behaviour, but these are modest compared with the changes that will be forced upon us if we do nothing.”
Caroline Lucas, Politician
Bill Gates in his book How to avoid a climate Disaster writes, “we are adding 51 billion tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere every year. The target is to make it Zero. He writes greenhouse gases trap heat and therefore the average temperature of the earth goes up. These greenhouse gases remain in the atmosphere for a very long time. 20% of the gas remains even for 10000 years in the atmosphere.”
Greenhouse gas emission have increased dramatically since the 1850 due to human activity, such as burning fossil fuels. This is the result of our Excessive production, excessive consumption, and excessive exploitation of natural resources.
This is a huge imbalance we are creating on Earth. The rich are getting richer, and poor, poorer. The income inequality is rising. Ecology to sociology everything is in disarray. This is nothing but the result of an imbalanced approach we humans has adopted to live on this planet. All our natural resources are depleting, and this is the Earth we are going to pass it on to our next generation.
This is important and massive imbalance and therefore found the place here.
When you go out in your car, you are not putting your feet on the ground, but you are creating your carbon footprint.
When you are reducing your power consumption, by switching off the light you are creating your carbon handprint.
A carbon footprint is a measure of the amount of carbon dioxide produced by a person, organization, or state in each time. This is about the negative impacts one’s action has had on the environment.
A carbon handprint is all the positive things one does to reduce the footprint. This is about the positive impacts your action has on the environment.
World land trust defines carbon balanced offsetting as,” Carbon offsetting is a process whereby an individual or company takes action to prevent the release of emissions elsewhere or secures the absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide as part of a wider approach to measure, reduce and then offset emissions through impactful conservation projects.
Carbon Balanced offsetting focuses on taking a balanced approach to your emissions by following a three-step process to measure and reduce, before offsetting residual emissions.
All carbon balanced projects are carefully designed according to robust standards that ensure offsets are delivered at a portfolio of sites where they are measurable, verifiable and properly monitored and can achieve high-quality REDD+ outcomes.” (1)
This could be also seen as environment and development balancing when it comes to Governments. This is an argument every government in the world is facing. The damaging environment for development has become an accepted reality. Reckless exploitation of resources and reckless conduct which spoils the environment needs our urgent attention.
We cannot live without some environmental damage and some carbon footprint. But the issue is of our consciousness of what our action generates. The issue is of conscious balancing of carbon footprint with carbon handprint.
Human emissions of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide from households, cars, flights, and habitat destruction are leading to global temperature rise and anthropogenic climate change. This has a severe impact on human systems, including increased flooding, landslides, threats to food and water security, and health.
As per the Bill Gates book, following table indicates, How much greenhouse gases are emitted by things we do?
|Making things (like cement, steel, plastic)||31%|
|Plugging in (electricity)||27%|
|Growing things (plants & animals)||19%|
|Getting around (planes, trucks cargo ships)||16%|
|Keeping warm and cool (heating, cooling, refrigeration)||7%|
Each one of us must take responsibility for our own impact on the climate. By reducing carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, Carbon Balancing is addressing the effect of increased Greenhouse gas emissions on the climate whilst contributing to wildlife conservation.
Many of us are not aware of our carbon footprint. Awareness precedes action we need to take collectively and individually. Global warming, greenhouse gas, etc are the burning issues of our generations, and we must know about this.
We all must know and keep in mind what Al Gore, in his book Earth in the Balance, wrote, “We can believe in the future and work to achieve it and preserve it, or we can whirl blindly on, behaving as if one day there will be no children to inherit our legacy. The choice is ours; the earth is in balance.” (2)
Know more about the carbon footprint your existence generates and what you can do to minimise it by carbon hand-print initiatives. This is the most vital balancing need of our generations.
“Environmental policy must strike a balance between the earth’s best interests and our citizen’s pressing needs.”
Jim Clyburn, Politician
Finally, we all must remember what the young Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg had to say, “We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis. And if solutions within the system are so impossible to find, then maybe we should change the system itself.”
Balance your carbon footprint (bad impact action) with carbon handprint (good impact action).
The world environment day is not the only day to become aware about it, every day is an environment day as we all have to live every day. The basic problem is most of us who are going to be impacted by their own action are just unaware about their action and its impact.
To reach from 51 billion to Zero emission, massive awareness is the order of the day.
Essential reading on the subject: (Make sure you read one of these books and spread the words)
- How to avoid a climate Disaster by Bill Gates
- What Can I Do?: The Truth About Climate Change and How to Fix It by Jane Fonda
- A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future by David Attenborough
- No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg
- This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate by Naomi Klein
- The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh (Fiction)
- Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution And Profit by Vandana Shiva