Michael Specter has an interesting article in The New Yorker about global warming and how "dazzlingly complex" it all is once you start to take all of the factors into account.
the calculations required to assess the full environmental impact of how we live can be dazzlingly complex. To sum them up on a label will not be easy. Should the carbon label on a jar of peanut butter include the emissions caused by the fertilizer, calcium, and potassium applied to the original crop of peanuts? What about the energy used to boil the peanuts once they have been harvested, or to mold the jar and print the labels? Seen this way, carbon costs multiply rapidly. A few months ago, scientists at the Stockholm Environment Institute reported that the carbon footprint of Christmas—including food, travel, lighting, and gifts—was six hundred and fifty kilograms per person. That is as much, they estimated, as the weight of “one thousand Christmas puddings” for every resident of England.
This passage caught my attention. We need to look at the whole picture and not just the impact of our individual actions. Remember all of the "save the rain forest" campaigns during the 1980's? My 7th grade science class wrote a letter to the Ecuadorian Embassy to encourage them to stop deforestation. It's great that carbon emissions are getting so much attention, but they're just a piece of the overall puzzle.
Just two countries—Indonesia and Brazil—account for about ten per cent of t...