A recent University of Washington study found that when the same values were used with 10 different online carbon calculators, the results varied greatly, suggesting that tallies of carbon emissions have been oversimplified to produce a “one-click” solution for consumers, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.
The Post-Intelligencer did it’s own research on the issue too. Bonneville Environmental Foundation’s calculator said that the couple the paper used for its research produced 75,795 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. The EPA tallied 27,029 pounds.
If the results can’t be trusted, that means some people may be changing their lifestyle or donating money for carbon “offsets,” such as those offered by public utilities, under false assumptions.