THE Balearics' regional climate change centre has got a new gadget posted on its website.
It is none other than a carbon dioxide emission calculator with which people can measure just how much as individuals they are contributing to global warming on an annual basis.
The novelty was presented yesterday buy Climate Change director, Patricia Conrado who highlighted the fact that the instrument was intended to promote public awareness of just what they should, or shouldn't be doing on a daily basis to keep the so-called greenhouse effect in check.
The calculator is easy to operate. The user needs to fill in a form, listing answers to questions on the house or apartment where they live: the type of lighting used and the number of electrical household items such as washing machines, microwaves and air conditioning units.
Once details on household contents have been completed, a separate list of questions investigates the form of transport which is used on a regular basis: the miles that are driven or cycled to work, the trains and the buses which are boarded during the course of a week.
The calculator does its own sums and comes up with the total number of units of carbon dioxide emissions for which we are responsible each year.
Conrado was quick to point out that the ultimate figure did not aim to be absolutely spot on. It's only an approximation which attempts to make the user realise that in many of the tasks that he or she undertakes each day, carbon dioxide is being released into the air. We hope that the knock-on effect of this experiment will be for people to come to terms with and contribute to the crusade that is called for against the greenhouse effect. The director explained that in order to fall in line with the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement aimed at curbing global warming, every inhabitant of the Earth should generate no more than 6.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. In the Balearics, average CO2 generation currently stands at around 10 tonnes annually.
The calculator is additionally designed to offer recommendations on household temperature control and the use of electric household goods.