'Not Easy Being Green,' Seattle P-I Blogger Complains

February 29th, 2008 12:46 PM

"It's not easy being green" isn't just the lament of Kermit the Frog, it's the dilemma of carbon-crunching greeniacs everywhere.

At least that's the sanctimonious cri de coeur of Seattle Post-Intelligencer blogger Curt Milton:

What's your carbon footprint? How much carbon does your lifestyle emit every year? Can you reduce your carbon footprint?

Thanks to Al Gore (and a lot of other forward-thinking people), carbon is on everyone's mind. The more carbon we emit, the more the Earth's atmosphere heats up. And that, as we all know, is a bad thing.

But, as Michael Specter writes in the Feb. 25 New Yorker, reducing your carbon footprint isn't that easy. And what seem like simple solutions (eating food that is grown close to home) aren't always the best ideas when the whole carbon equation is considered.

Milton complains that carbon emission calculations are not as cut-and-dried as one might always expect and that it's hard to make carbon emissions information accurate and understandable for say grocery store customers, not to mention the temptation to screw over the Third World to assuage liberal guilt about industrialization (emphasis Milton's):

One idea: Pay people in underdeveloped countries to not cut their forests or develop their lands (chopping down rain forests releases vast quantities of carbon). But that raises a moral problem: Is it fair to pay underdeveloped countries to clean up the developed world's mess?

It's not easy being green.

What about you? Are you trying to reduce your carbon footprint? And how are you doing it? (Here's a carbon calculator to get you started.)