Thursday, January 17, 2008


How big is your carbon footprint? Have you ever wondered about this? How do you measure it? What IS a carbon footprint, anyway?

Ever since Algore received the Nobel Prize and an Oscar for his science-fiction docudrama, “An Inconvenient Lie….er, Truth”, people have been talking about their carbon footprint. Although no one really knows what the hell this means, there is a growing sense of urgency around the need to reduce the size of it. But how do we reduce the size of something when we can’t even define what it is?

Well, that’s what we’re here to do.

We’ve got a ready-made solution to the most pressing environmental problem that this planet has ever experienced (if you don’t count the many ice ages and thaws we’ve had over the past couple of billion years, and the dust bowl of the thirties).

The truth about carbon footprints

But before we tell you about the solution, and how easy it will be to implement it, let’s explore the nature of the problem first. Consider this as a crash course in Carbon Footprints 101.

Most people have no idea how big their carbon footprint is. And Algore and his ilk know that. They prey on your lack of knowledge and secretly snicker at your ignorance.

But that’s all going to change, once we educate the world and show people how easy it is not only to measure your carbon footprint, but also how to live with it, guilt-free, no matter how large it is.

Algore does it, and if it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for you and me.

It’s so simple that even my five-year-old can do it.

So, how do you determine the size of your carbon footprint? You might think that it requires knowledge of advanced math and chemistry. You might assume that you’ll have to perform some high-level computations and calculations.


It’s dead simple. So simple, in fact, that Algore doesn’t want you to know about it.

Well, that’s too bad. We’re going to let the cat out of the bag. Or, in this case, the carbon out of the sack.

The Carbon Footprint Assessment Kit is all you’ll need. You may have seen these kits for sale on various “green” sites on the Internet, but you don’t need to send your hard-earned dollars to those shysters. For just a few cents you can create your own kit. It may not come in a fancy box made of recycled cardboard, but it’ll do the job.

Carbon dating

Carbon paper. You’ve heard of it, right?

If you’re too young to remember what a typewriter is, you may not ever have seen carbon paper. Back in the day, before computers and word processors, if you wanted more than one copy of a document you had one of three choices:

1. Type it again, in its entirety.

2. Type it and then photocopy it (which degraded the quality).

3. Type it once using carbon paper. Instead of inserting one sheet of paper into the typewriter roll, you would insert two sheets, with carbon paper between them. Everything you typed on the first sheet would be imprinted on the second sheet, in carbon. This is the origin of “carbon copy”, or “CC” as we know it in the world of e-mail.

So there’s your history lesson. Now you know how carbon paper works—you make an impression by applying pressure to the carbon paper.

You can see where this is leading, can’t you?

Do-it-yourself carbon footprint measurements

Here’s all you need to do:

  1. Put a blank sheet of printer paper on the floor.
  2. Place a sheet of carbon paper on top of the printer paper.
  3. Place another blank sheet of printer paper on top of the carbon paper.
  4. Remove your shoes and socks.
  5. Place one foot on the printer paper.
  6. Lift your other foot, thereby causing all of your weight to rest on the foot that is on the printer paper.
  7. Bounce slightly on your leg to apply even more pressure to the paper.
  8. Stand aside.
  9. Remove the top sheet of paper and the carbon paper.

What you have left is a sheet of printer paper on the floor with an impression, or carbon copy, or your footprint. This represents your carbon footprint.

What’s a little carbon between friends?

You can see that it really doesn’t amount to much in the grand scheme of things, can’t you? It really doesn’t look that dangerous, does it?

How can such a small amount of carbon cause iceberg calving in the Arctic? How can a measly footprint like that cause the ocean levels to rise?

Well, of course they can’t, and it’s absurd to think otherwise. In fact, you should be proud of your carbon footprint. Like a fingerprint, it is unique. No one else has a carbon footprint like yours. Feel free to cut it out, mount it on expensive paper, frame it, and hang it conspicuously on your living room wall.

Don’t worry, be happy—and flaunt your carbon

Still feeling guilty about how much carbon you’re contributing to the environment? If so, the propaganda is having its desired effect.

We’re not here to judge your feelings and motivations. If, after measuring your carbon footprint, you still feel like you should be doing more to help the environment, there is a way to assuage your guilt: carbon credit certificates.

What’s a carbon credit certificate?

Think of it as a license to use your carbon footprint. You need a license to drive an automobile, and in some places you need a license to own and/or use a firearm. A carbon credit certificate is no different. It entitles you to walk around, guilt-free, leaving your carbon footprint wherever you go.

They say that money can’t buy happiness, but it can certainly buy peace of mind.

How transferring money protects the environment: the Algore model

Algore and others have set up large companies that do nothing but buy and sell carbon credits. These credits entitle factories to continue to pollute the environment.

Here’s an example of how it works. Notice how simple it really is. Notice also the resemblance to the magician’s shell game.

Suppose Company A and Company B are each entitled to spew 100 units of pollution into the air. That’s a total of 200 units of pollution. Now, let’s say that Company A actually spews 150 units of pollution, thereby exceeding its allowable limit.

However, suppose Company B has only spewed 50 units. It has a reserve of 50 units of pollution that it can spew. Company A can purchase those 50 units from Company B.

The net result is that 200 units of pollution have been spewed into the air. Nothing has changed. This system has not caused Company A to reduce its pollution levels, nor has it resulted in a reduction of the global amount of pollution being introduced into the environment.

But, simply by transferring money to a cleaner company, everyone can go to sleep at night secure in the knowledge that somehow, the environment has been protected.

In fact, nothing at all has been accomplished. You could even take a cynical view of things and say that Company B, the “clean” company, is subsidizing the heavy polluter. Now, isn’t that a great system?

It has made Algore a very rich man, and has allowed him to walk around with a carbon footprint bigger than Yeti’s.

What it really boils down to is this: you can pollute as much you want, as long as you can afford to pay. Large amounts of money are trading hands, while the levels of pollution remain unchanged.

This is the world according to Algore.

But why should he and other rich people be the only ones who are allowed to pay to pollute, while frightening the rest of us into changing our lightbulbs and recycling all that packaging that is foisted upon us whenever we buy any consumer product?

Now, you too can flaunt your carbon footprint, and at a fraction of the amount of money that the western industrialized world is sending to the developing world under the carbon credit exchange program set up by the Kyoto Protocol.

Our Carbon Credits for Ordinary People (CCOPs) will allow you to pay for a clean conscience, even while you continue to breathe out the carbon dioxide that is causing tornadoes in December in the American mid-West and the loss of coral reefs in exotic locations.

Buy one CCOP certificate and get one free! This will allow you to use both feet, guilt-free.

CCOPs make the perfect gift for friends and loved ones who have large carbon footprints, or who carry around large amounts of guilt about their impact on the environment.

Send them their very own CCOP certificates and give them peace of mind with every breath of carbon dioxide that they exhale, and with every carbon footprint that they leave behind as they go through their day, wondering when they will be inundated by rapidly rising ocean levels.

Based on the proven Kyoto Protocol model, by which industrialized countries are allowed to continue to spew pollutants into the environment by virtue of payments of huge sums of money to developing countries, where the real pollution of the planet is taking place (and will continue apace, financed by our dollars), the CCOP certificates will allow you to continue your current lifestyle, regardless of its impact on the environment.

You may never win a Nobel prize or an Oscar, but at least you can lead a life based on the same principles and practices as those of Algore, who pays large sums of money to his neighbours in order that he may continue to live in an expansive pile, and fly around the world in a private gas-guzzler, spreading his message of environmental doom and gloom.

The impact of his carbon footprint in one day vastly exceeds that of yours in one year. And you don’t see him buckling under the weight of guilt, do you?

Of course not.

What’s the impact of his giant carbon footprint? A Nobel prize and an Oscar. While we can’t all aspire to such lofty ambitions, we can certainly follow his lead.

Purchase as many CCOPs as you feel you need to live guilt-free for a year. Send them to friends, neighbours and loved ones, to show them how much you care about them and the environment.

CCOPs are available as attractive certificates that are suitable for framing and displaying proudly on your wall, next to your carbon footprint.

Each certificate comes with a wallet-sized version, which will come in handy if you ever get into a debate on the environment and you need to prove that you’re doing your part to save the planet.

The best part is that nothing, not one cent, of the proceeds of the sale of CCOP certificates will find its way into Algore’s pockets.

Order your CCOP certificates within the next 30 days and your name will be entered into a draw for a trip to Kyoto, Japan.*

Click here to order your CCOP certificates using our secure, 128-bit encrypted e-commerce server.

No animals were harmed during the design and production of the CCOP certificates.
*Note: We reserve the right to change the destination of the trip in the event that Kyoto is submerged by the rising ocean levels before the draw is made. Contest is open to all residents of the United States of America. Void where prohibited, and in Vermont.