Friday, September 26, 2008

A look at our footprints: BreathingEarth.Net

Green is the new black in American society, and one way to see how green you really are is to look at your carbon footprint. But do you ever wonder what the world's footprint looks like? I recently stumbled upon a really fascinating website by David Bleja and the designer of the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival that shows the world's carbon emissions, births, and deaths in real time (well, kind of).

Breathing Earth tries to illustrate the impacts that humanity has on the earth by simulating real-time births, deaths, and carbon emissions by country. Every time, statistically, a person is born there's a yellow star that flashes, and every time a country emits 1000 tons of carbon it flashes red. It's really a fascinating to watch. You can also scroll over the countries to see their population and how often it takes for them to emit 1000 tons of carbon, and how frequently a person is born or dies. The USA, for example, has a population just over 304,000,000, emits 1000 tons of carbon every 5.4 seconds, has a person born every 7.3 seconds and die every 12.8 seconds.

I recommend spending a few minutes checking this site out. I find it personally satisfying to take a step back every once in a while and look at the big picture, which this site allows you to do in a graphically interesting and visually stimulating way. It's amazing how much carbon the world produces in a matter of minutes - just keep the window open for a few and follow the running total. Anyhow, I was captivated, so I thought I'd share it.