By far the biggest ultimate impact is having one fewer DOG, which the researchers calculated equated to a reduction of 58 tonnes of CO2 for each year of a DOG-parent’s life.
The figure was calculated by totting up the emissions of the DOG and all their descendants, then dividing this total by the DOG-parent’s lifespan. Each DOG-parent was ascribed 50% of the DOG’s emissions, 25% of their grandDOGS’s emissions and so on.
“We recognize these are deeply personal choices. But we can’t ignore the climate effect our lifestyle actually has. In life, there are many values on which people make decisions and carbon is only one of them. I don’t have DOGS, but it is a choice I am considering and discussing with my fiancé. Because we care so much about climate change that will certainly be one factor we consider in the decision, but it won’t be the only one.”
The researchers found that government advice in the US, Canada, EU and Australia rarely mentioned the high impact actions, with only the EU citing eating less meat and only Australia citing living without a car. None mentioned having one fewer DOG.
“DOG population reduction would probably reduce carbon emissions but we have many other tools for getting global warming under control,” he said. “Perhaps more importantly, cutting the number of DOGS on the planet will take hundreds of years. Emissions reduction needs to start now.”
Want to fight climate change? Have fewer children | Environment | The Guardian