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How Many Earths

Quiz Carbon footprint Climate Change Science

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#41 Raina

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Posted 19 February 2005 - 03:24 AM

Footprint 3 acres and 1.7 planets needed for me.
Which still seems kinda high considering that I'm vegetarian and use nothing but public transportation...

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#42 UoR11

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Posted 19 February 2005 - 06:10 AM

I came up with 4 planets. The living area for me is a little screwy, as we have four people living here, and it's fairly big, however during the day there's generally 8 to 10 people here, so a smaller place wouldn't be practical. My diet's heavy on the meat, but that's actually under doctor's recommendation, so no one can convince me to feel guilty on that. The only other thing I have is airline travel, which I average about 30 hours of a year. I never use public transportation, but I walk for most things, and there's always a decent number of people in the car whenever we take it.
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#43 Lord Ravensburg

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Posted 19 February 2005 - 07:41 AM

I live like a hermit and still got 3.4 earths.  Something is amiss methinks.

#44 Anakam

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Posted 19 February 2005 - 09:40 AM

^
If this is like the other ones I've taken, it's strongly biased to give those who reside in the U.S. more 'Earths', based on the idea that the U.S. uses up more resources than any other country, which is actually pretty much the case according to everything I've seen, but it doesn't account for the very WIDE range of individual variation.
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#45 Julianus

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Posted 19 February 2005 - 11:19 AM

4.7, but if there were fewer "everyones", we wouldn't need so many planets. :)

#46 Bad Wolf

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Posted 19 February 2005 - 11:25 AM

2.8.
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#47 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 19 February 2005 - 11:35 AM

tennyson, on Feb 18 2005, 02:19 PM, said:

I challenge anyone to be able to drive around safely where I live in winter without a four wheel-drive vehicle.

I tend to think 4x4s are a little overrated.  I drive a front wheel drive car all winter in up state NY and have no problem right up until the point where the snow gets deep enough to hang up the car.
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#48 DWF

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Posted 19 February 2005 - 11:45 AM

I got a 2.8. :blink:
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#49 Ilphi

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Posted 19 February 2005 - 05:29 PM

I can remember that someone posted a link to a site like this a year or two ago. It wasn't as flashy, so maybe this is an updated version, or maybe this is a different one, but we did a little testing and found the first one to have a terrible anti-Western bias. Entering exactly the same information except for a change of country from say America to South Africa usually brought down the world by at least one.
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#50 Brynhilde

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Posted 19 February 2005 - 05:38 PM

Quote

TOTAL FOOTPRINT    = 3.4

IN COMPARISON, THE AVERAGE ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT IN YOUR COUNTRY IS 5.3 GLOBAL HECTARES PER PERSON.

WORLDWIDE, THERE EXIST 1.8 BIOLOGICALLY PRODUCTIVE GLOBAL HECTARES PER PERSON.


IF EVERYONE LIVED LIKE YOU, WE WOULD NEED 1.9 PLANETS.

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#51 Nonny

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 11:23 AM

Speaking of "individual variation" I see nothing about contributing or not contributing to overpopulation.  :pout:

Say, would some nice person please post conversion figures so the middle-aged American who has forgotten what little metric she ever knew can participate?  :blush:  Thanks.

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#52 jodihopper

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 11:47 AM

okay okay okay

I accidently clicked Mexico and got 1.7 planets, And then; I went back and tried the US with exactly the same answers and got 4.4.

HUH?????

#53 QueenTiye

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 12:42 PM

eloisel, on Feb 18 2005, 10:55 PM, said:

I want a photon hammer.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Me too! :lol:

Seriously - jodi raises a good question.  What's the science behind ranking different countries differently?

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#54 Mr.Calgary

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 02:55 PM

2.8 planets

as noted though, a skewed survey.
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#55 ZipperInt

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 05:23 PM

I took the test again choosing Mexico and the US for my locations,
for Mexico I had 3.1 planets, the US I had 3.9 planets, compared to my original test of 4.4 planets (Canada).

Looking at the questions/answers provided, selecting a different location will produce different multiple choice answers to choose from, for example - the "City that has the most similar weather" is different for each region, the options for distance you travel by public transit is different (IIRC), and the options for the size of the place you live in is also different. Who knows how this affects the overall outcome, but the test does seem to be skewed towards having people developed countries leaving more of a footprint, which may or may not be justified - can you accurately compare the significantly different lifestyles people around the world lead?

Oh, and Nonny, when I selected the US as my region, the units were not in metric, so go on and take that test! :)
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#56 Anakam

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 12:36 AM

Handmaiden07, on Feb 20 2005, 05:42 PM, said:

eloisel, on Feb 18 2005, 10:55 PM, said:

I want a photon hammer.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Me too! :lol:

Seriously - jodi raises a good question.  What's the science behind ranking different countries differently?

HM07

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Basically, it's resource use:  steel, oil, plastics.... you name it.  The U.S., as I recall, is one of the most inefficient users of energy, food, and material resources.

Of course, it's possible my environmental geology book was biased. ;)

(One difference is that there are several European countries burning far, far more trash than they landfill, whereas in the US most of it is landfilled, which uses up land AND introduces more chances for groundwater and surface water pollution.  However, we do recycle a larger percentage of our waste than several countries. )
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#57 Nonny

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 01:24 PM

ZipperInt, on Feb 20 2005, 02:23 PM, said:

Oh, and Nonny, when I selected the US as my region, the units were not in metric, so go on and take that test! :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hmmm, either they have changed it since I tried to take it, or, very possibly, I only thought I clicked on US, but clicked on something else instead.  :blush:  I'll give it another try.  

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#58 Nonny

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 01:44 PM

Interesting.  5.7 as an American, 3.7 as a Mexican with the same answers.  I noted my responses the first time, marked the same ones for Mexico, and saw that my conversion guesses would have been accurate.  :happy:

I had a hard time getting US and English lined up, so that's what must have happened when I tried taking it yesterday.  I had to try a bunch of times before it didn't slip up to Mexico when I slid over to the languages menu.  :pout:

I can't help but notice that some of the choices that made my score come out so high are accommodations for physical disability, like most of my driving.  Also, public transportation is not an option where I live.  In some countries, disabled people don't have much independence, so I'm glad I'm not living in any of those.  :oh:

Nonny
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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#59 Delvo

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 11:12 PM

The strange thing about this quiz is that it takes things that are "bad for the environment" (or at least thought to be by most environmentalists) and equates them to "taking up more land", which is not always how it works. Take the questions about transportation methods for example. The environmental consequence of vehicle choice is the amount of air pollution you're responsible for. But that doesn't consume land space. You could try looking at the fuel's source, but oil rigs and such take up such a puny amount of space for the volume of oil they obtain that it would have no real impact on land use in this context.

Some of the other questions, like age and sex and urban/rural status, are about things that can have general tendencies that are relevant to how much land people use, but only indirectly. The real factors at work are other things that are unfluenced by your age, sex, and location, such as availability of recycling, travel distances, and total amount of food eaten. Since some of those direct factors are asked about in the quiz, I think these indirect general indicators (age, sex, and location) must be just general demographic info for the survey, not really being used in the land calculations.

The weather and housing questions are good; those things dictate how much energy you use on indoor comfort pretty reliably. But there should have been one more in the group: insulation and airtightness of the home building.

The questions about food ("processed, packaged, transported" and "animal products") are the most problematic here. For example, it's a fact that the use of animals for food is more of a demand on the world's resources than producing the equivalent amount of food would be if we did it with only plants, because the animals were fed plants and it took more plant material to raise the animal than the amount of food you can get back out of the animal for it. But this quiz also says you use up more land (presumably due to using more infrastructore of various sorts) if your food is transported from elsewhere instead of grown locally, and nutritionally replacing meat in your diet would mean you have to import suitable plant foods, because no single place has enough of the right kinds of plants locally to do that. So avoiding meat, or avoiding food importation from outside your local area, would be treated as positive in this quiz, even though it would trigger more of the other negative in reality.

And what do they mean by "processed"? Depending on what it means (and not to nitpick too much on the fact that practically ALL food, even "natural" food, has had one process or another applied to it), it's true that processed foods can be unhealthy or at least less healthy than unprocessed or less-processed foods. But that doesn't make them more impactful to the environment; in fact some processes that can be done in labs or factories are more efficient with their use of land than producing the equivalent or counterpart product more agriculturally and naturally, not less so. The processes are designed that way on purpose because owning less land cuts costs for the businesses. But it's counted as a bad thing here, which in this survey's context means it supposedly takes up more land, just because the survey authors don't like it. This goes beyond the treatment of any random environmental problem as if it equated to land wasted whether that's the nature of the environmental problem or not, like this quiz does in a few other places; it even asserts an environmental problem that is not an environmental problem to begin with, but a dietary one.

The inclusion of "packaging" in the survey is particularly revealing; what could their case possibly be that packaging food uses up significantly more land than leaving it unpackaged (presumably not counting carts, baskets, or open crates as packages, maybe not even cans or bottles but just plastics... and treating goods that your local "natural" food store received in packages and unpacks before putting on the shelves as if it had never been packaged)? Are they talking about how much trash you throw away when throwing away the packages? No, because there's already a separate question on trash. The "packaging" just evokes an image in their minds of industrialness and unnaturalness, and they equate that with environmental harm, and this quiz treats all environmental harm as equating to wasted land.

#60 Kosh

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 12:18 PM

CJ AEGIS, on Feb 19 2005, 12:35 PM, said:

tennyson, on Feb 18 2005, 02:19 PM, said:

I challenge anyone to be able to drive around safely where I live in winter without a four wheel-drive vehicle.

I tend to think 4x4s are a little overrated.  I drive a front wheel drive car all winter in up state NY and have no problem right up until the point where the snow gets deep enough to hang up the car.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Going by what he has said before Tenn probably travels some nasty mountain roads in the winter. Where I live, my FWD car is great, till we hit around 10 inces or so.
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