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kuai43

Skydiving fuel use - worldwide?

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Orthoclase


The flaw with the "dollars to barrels of oil" method is that it is overly simplistic and doesn't make any attempt to account for any of these kinds of variables.



Well, by definition, a 'generalization' is simplistic.

And while there are zillions (generalizing :P) of examples where it doesn't fit, I can see it being reasonably true overall.

Take most food, for example. Crops grown in the ground need fuel. The fields have to be prepped, planted, treated & harvested. Those are done with diesel fuel.

The crops then get transported to a processor/packager. More fuel.

It takes power to process & package the stuff. Primarily electricity, but that power still comes with a 'carbon price'

Then transport to distribution warehouses & stores. More fuel.

While a portion of the cost to purchase, say a can of corn, does include the labor involved, some of that labor cost can be translated to fuel. The fuel the people use to get to & from work, that sort of thing.

While that does end up counting some 'carbon footprint' twice, I think it's not a terrible way to compute it, overall (and that's a generalization too :P).
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The flaw with the "dollars to barrels of oil" method is that it is overly simplistic and doesn't make any attempt to account for any of these kinds of variables.



If anything the argument attempts to account for all variables in an over simplistic way. The increase in the carbon footprint of having less jumpers on the plane is offset by the decrease of the personal footprint of the DZO due to him making less profit to spend. A decrease in the price of a barrel of oil means someone down the line makes more profit thereby increasing his personal carbon footprint.
Oh no, my head has started hurting again:S

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Well, if you're going to reduce/simplify it in that way, then why bother converting the money spent to barrels of oil, especially given the fact that the global oil market is subject to fluctuations caused by things that don't necessarily relate to actual carbon emissions?

Also, if someone, as an "eco-conscious consumer" chooses to pay more for a product produced in a facility that runs partially on solar/wind energy, how would that factor into the equation?

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If a robot produces 1 million widgets in its life-time then when calculating the carbon footprint of one widget one needs to include 1 millionth of the robots life-time footprint. This includes the creation of the robot, energy for making widgets, maintenance, destruction, etc. If you use a human instead of a robot then you should do the same calculation for the human instead, however humans require other things for their existence, like entertainment etc., hence the idea of following the money.

The cost of solar power is largely due to human activity (maintenance, investors, etc) and hence has a significant hidden carbon footprint. (Should an eco-conscious consumer avoid solar power and burn oil instead? :P) The question is, should this be included in the footprint for solar power and if so, how?

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While that does end up counting some 'carbon footprint' twice


I reckon that's the flaw (amongst potentially others), the same carbon footprints are counted many times. The same portion of someone's footprint is counted in the footprint of everyone up the chain. So maybe using solar power is not such a bad idea. :)

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neilmck

If a robot produces 1 million widgets in its life-time then when calculating the carbon footprint of one widget one needs to include 1 millionth of the robots life-time footprint....



Well, that's a fun thought experiment. If you follow that to the logical conclusion you would have a causality-chains going back all the way to a tiny fraction of the big bang (or at least to the first creation of carbon.)
Now, if money is truly a good measure to calculate the proportion of the contributions to the carbon footprint is questionable. At the very least that would presuppose perfectly efficient markets
...but it would also mean that there is absolutely NOTHING (other than living at more moderate means) that can be done to reduce your carbon footprint: If you own a $30,000 car it will have the exact same carbon footprint as any other car at that price. In fact, if you owned multiple bicycles that add up to that cost, the same would be true.
Ultimately that would mean, that, even if we burned ZERO fossil fuels worldwide, we would still have the same carbon footprint according to that calculation, as long as we were still using money for commerce (actually, possibly much higher, since oil would probably be extremely cheap in such a world--as it would be mostly useless--and so in your conversion you'd end up with tremendous amounts of oil per dollar)

So: somewhere there must be an error in that formula

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Thanks to everyone who's contributed to this thread and I appreciate all the thought that's been put in. A lot of interesting speculation has been thrown out there.

To get back to the original question, this is simply about the amount of fuel used in skydiving flight operations specifically. This should be restricted to the number of gallons actually purchased and then assumed to be poured into aircraft. This should be far easier to estimate just by fuel sales.

Discussion about overall skydiving carbon footprints is a bit specious and a speculative rabbit hole. There are too many variables involved. If skydiving ended tomorrow, the people involved would find something else to do that would create their own footprints, therefore it would suffice to call all ancillary carbon impacts a wash.
Every fight is a food fight if you're a cannibal

Goodness is something to be chosen. When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man. - Anthony Burgess

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I'm not so much worried about the miniscule environmental impact as I am the regulations. In the future, we could have extra fees and such that jack up the overhead costs, and force the less wealthy jumpers away from the sport, or force it into electric powered planes. :S Nothing to worry about anytime soon.

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