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If My House Were On Fire and I Had to Choose . . .

9:20 AM, Dec 23, 2009 • By RACHEL ABRAMS
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Save a "specialist in sustainable living" or the dog? No contest.

Even if it turned out to be not the usual ginned-up bogus climate pre-apocalypticism being peddled as science by the world's eco-terrorists (in this case, two sustainable-living specialists from New Zealand), but rather a true fact that her "carbon pawprint . . . is more than double that of a gas-guzzling sports utility vehicle," I'd definitely choose the dog.

The Vales . . . analysed popular brands of pet food and calculated that a medium-sized dog eats around 164 kilos (360 pounds) of meat and 95 kilos of cereal a year. . . . Combine the land required to generate its food and a "medium" sized dog has an annual footprint of 0.84 hectares (2.07 acres) -- around twice the 0.41 hectares required by a 4x4 driving 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles) a year, including energy to build the car. . . . And pets' environmental impact is not limited to their carbon footprint, as cats and dogs devastate wildlife, spread disease and pollute waterways, the Vales say.

As it happens, my dog is not medium-sized, she is large-sized--very--and her carbon footprints, which have covered the hectares in her three years of glorious life (so far), may have devastated a fair share of wildlife and polluted a good number waterways already; and so, I am guessing, must my extra-large-sized gas-guzzling 4x4 sports utility vehicle--the one that's allowed me to get out of my house despite the two feet of snow covering my driveway right now from a blizzard which may yet prove to have been related to global warming. Or not.