I was thinking it might be a good idea if we all kill ourselves to take some stress off of the environment. But then I started to think about how big the carbon footprint of a mass suicide might be.
Let’s start with methods.
I suppose the first one that comes to mind is shooting oneself. But what about all the energy it takes to make a gun, first of all. The manufacture of fire arms and ammunition has got to produce a ton of carbon dioxide. This would make a good project for a grad student in environmental studies. And, of course, there’s the actual smoking gun. God knows I wouldn’t want an attempt to rid the world of energy sucking, carbon exhaling humans to end up actually producing a cloud of carbon gas.
Pills would be an alright way to go. Except I don’t even want to imagine the horrible things that pharmaceutical manufacturing does to the planet, not to mention all the animal testing that goes on in those Nazi-spawned labs hidden deep in the bowels of some super-secret Swiss research lab.
The only acceptable way to use pills to off oneself would be not to use them to fight some horrible illness contracted while in the Peace Corps. But death from a long, horrible illness is a bit protracted to fit the bill for our current discussion.
Hanging is just out of the question. There are too many things that could go wrong. If we’re going to give up our lives to save the earth, I don’t think it’s too much to ask that we have a relatively easy time of it.
Drowning is a possibility, but there’s the matter of transporting ourselves to a water source. That takes energy, which means carbon. And, of course, the problem of what happens to our carcasses remains an issue. They can’t very well stay in the ocean or lake or whatever. And fishing them out is going to be a huge carbon ordeal.
I guess, when you take everything into consideration, We’ll be doing the planet more of a favor by staying alive than offing ourselves. Frankly, I’m pretty happy about that. I like living; and I’m glad that my life is better for the planet than my death.