Out w/ ‘carbon footprint’ — In w/ ‘climate shadow’

Out w/ ‘carbon footprint’ — In w/ ‘climate shadow’
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National Geographic: ‘Forget your carbon footprint—your climate shadow is what really matters’ – Calculates your ‘spiritual & moral reckoning’

National Geographic:
 The enormity of the global climate crisis is so vast that individual actions may seem meaningless…But critics argue that focusing on your carbon footprint is at best time consuming and at worst meaningless. Instead, the “climate shadow” has emerged as a more holistic alternative. …

“Everywhere you go, it goes too, tallying not just your air conditioning use and the gas mileage of your car, but also how you vote, how many children you choose to have, where you work, how you invest your money, how much you talk about climate change, and whether your words amplify urgency, apathy, or denial.” …

First coined by Portland, Oregon-based writer Emma Pattee, the climate shadow aims to paint a picture of the full sum of one’s choices—and the impact they have on the planet…The objective is not to create a climate shadow scorecard. Rather, Pattee describes it as “sharing my own spiritual and moral reckoning.”

The larger the shadow—the greater an individual’s impact on doing good for the planet. While your carbon footprint may shrink if you place solar panels on your roof, for example, your climate shadow would, in contrast, grow when talking with your neighbors about your choices.

Critics of carbon footprint calculators argue, for example, that they have been coopted by oil companies to shift blame and attention away from them and on to everyday consumers. “A carbon footprint is a quantitative metric measure of righteousness,” explains Katharine Hayhoe, chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy and a professor at Texas Tech University. “And people use it to feel good about themselves, which we all want to do when we feel fearful, scared, worried, and concerned. But then they turn it into a measure to judge other people.”

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