Monday, 28 August 2006

What's your footprint?

Oh dear. The Environment Ministry's online ecological footprint calculator has decided it would need 3.5 globes to sustain my lifestyle if everyone lived as I do, but otherwise is not so complimentary. The Ministry Sustain-O-Meter has declared, "You live a reasonably sustainable lifestyle by New Zealand standards." I hang my head in shame.

Here's the full, dripping wet, rationally unsustainable declaration:
You live a reasonably sustainable lifestyle by New Zealand standards. However, by world standards your lifestyle is not sustainable. If everyone on the globe used as much land as you do, 3.5 globes would be needed to support the world's current population.

Your strictly vegetarian diet considerably reduces your ecological footprint. Your food footprint is half the New Zealand average - ie 8,572 square metres smaller. As you no doubt know, your vegetarian diet is environmentally friendly as it takes less land and resources to supply your food needs.

Your use of vehicles is relatively high. This increases your personal ecological footprint to 317 square metres above the national average. The use of public transport could considerably reduce your ecological footprint.
Have a go yourself. [Hat tip Mr Hide, who scores an impressive 11.3 globes.] See if you can achieve either a more craven lifestyle than mine, or a more planet-raping one than his. (And see if you can work out the primary fallacy in the idea of a 'footprint' scored in such a way.)

And compare it to the Earth Day Footprint Quiz, which decides that "if everyone lived like me, I'd only need 1.5 globes to support me." Only a 233% difference between that and the Ministry's quiz -- clearly this isn't science so much as something that starts with a 'p.'

LINK: Ecological Footprint Calculator - Environment Ministry
Earth Day Footprint Quiz - Official Earth Day Do-Gooders

RELATED: Environment, Quiz, New Zealand


  1. From Rodney's blog:

    "Your income is considerably above the national average (at June 2001) which was $36,554 for a full-time worker. Compared to the average worker, it is estimated that your ecological footprint is increased by 2,540 square metres because you have extra money to spend on goods and services."

    If only we were all as poor as the worst-off third world coutries. Then we wouldn't need many globes at all...

  2. I got 8.5 globes (yet a zero for transport).

    Despite being (unintentionally) greener than most, I am apparently satan incarnate on the basis of my income and my liking for steak.

  3. What a load of utter bollocks. The site is riddled with false assumptions.
    Is this some greenie bureaucrat's wet dream?

  4. For this donkeybollocks, our taxes are used...

  5. yeah I blogged this yesterday:

    " How much do you personally spend on healthcare each month?
    This includes visits to doctors or other health professional, over-the-counter medicines, prescriptions, vitamin tablets, equipment (glasses, joint supports etc) and other fees. It only includes your personal expenditure, not expenses which are paid for by the Government."

    So expenses paid for by the government aren't counted. Obviously if its paid for by the government it must be evironmentally sustainable according to MFE, but private healthcare isn't ecologically sustainable - what the hell?

    As for entertainment:

    "This includes subscriptions (libraries, gyms and sports clubs, youth groups, cultural societies), tourist attractions (art galleries, museums etc), recreation (gear, events, lessons) and leisure (handcrafts, cinema/theatre etc). This doesn't include alcohol and eating out."

    So spending money to support a library isn't sustainable, nor is spending money on something like mountain biking - but spending money on alcahol and eating out is...

  6. I just sent 'em a errrr.."robust" email.
    Waste of time--some bimbo greenie will look at it, shudder and delete it.
    Nothing can penetrate their armoured stupidity.

  7. Heh, I tested it with zero expenditure for a vegetarian household of millions (so energy efficient!), and still got 2 globes!

  8. Such bollocks - so if I buy one $2500 Armani suit it has the same footprint as buying 10 from Hallensteins? So buying one long haul $6000 business class airfare is a bigger carbon footprint than 100 people taking cheap flights between London and Europe? So I use more energy eating a NZ slaughtered chicken than some processed vege muck made in the EU.

    Fuck them, the intellectually vapid little envy ridden turds who created it - the ones who think that people who are wealthy are "bad" whereas if I was a starving North Korean I'd be so fucking moral. Why don't they stick their dairy free lattes up their arses while they sip them in morning tea time, having their twice a day break like the pontificating vermin they are.

    What pisses me off is I know some of the people who worship this sort of thing and would have helped write it.

  9. Good boy, Scott. You have a right to get angry; your description of these twats is spot on. I live in hope that they watched Penn & Teller's 'Bullshit' by accident last week when they pilloried recycling.

    What pisses me off is that the people who worship this sort of thing exist at all - and, worse, that I'm forced to pay for them.

  10. This is literally insane. And as I see, cd has written exactly the thing I would quote here.

    I have to take a pay cut so I'm so poor I have to under the bridge???

    Frikking idiots.

    PS: I'm on 8.5 globes.

  11. 5.3 Globes!

    Fuck you Earth!

    When I get my Chev Impala that I'm saving up for I hope to increase my globe ranking!


  12. I got a 6.8, but it isn't really accurate--forex, we spent 2,000 on air travel this year, but have spent zero during the preceding five. Plus my hubby works at home, so the computers, office supplies and A/C expenses are included, but they wouldn't be if he EVER LEFT THE HOUSE ONCE IN A WHILE, but, erm I digress. And I put my health ins. payments in the healthcare question, but I'm not sure that's right. In any case, they're pissed at me cuz we earn too much money, so fuck 'em.

  13. You are evil people, and you're all going to environmental hell.

    Or you will be once they work out how to tax your carbon footprint...


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