Miles Traer and two colleagues have calculated the carbon footprint for nine heroes from the comic book canon — and realized that Earth might be better off if they stopped trying to save it.
In a poster presentation, Traer attempted to get people to think about their own carbon footprints by analyzing nine super heros: Oracle, the Flash, Batman, Iron Man, Jessica Jones, Firebird, Spider-Man, Superman and Swamp Thing. Spider-Man needs to manufacture his carbon nanotube webbing. Firebird depends on combustion to conjure tornadoes of flame. The Flash must eat a ton of meat to maintain his super fast speeds.
“If I calculate my own carbon footprint, that’s a bummer,” Traer says. “But if I calculate it for Batman, things get interesting.”
To further make his point, Traer considers how his heroes might lessen their impact on the environment. By going vegetarian, the Flash could reduce his emissions from 90 million pounds of carbon dioxide to just 3 million. If Bruce Wayne stopped spending money on Batman gear, he could pay for carbon offsets for the entire population of downtown Chicago.
The implied message: If a masked vigilante with too much money and a shortage of good judgment can redeem himself, you can, too.
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