Week 13: Carbon calculators

Since I’m storing all my literature review information my LaTeX document, there are a fair number of URLs listed. I figured there must be a way to get LaTeX to generate PDFs with clickable links, and sure enough there is. The hyperref package has lots of nifty stuff, including making URLs clickable and making internal document references also clickable. Since I’m using this LaTeX Makefile, which produces output via LaTeX -> DVI -> PS -> PDF, I also need the breakurl package.

Here’s the code I’m using, which should be the last stuff before the \begin{document} :

%% Make URLs clickable \usepackage[colorlinks, bookmarks=true]{hyperref}

%% Since I'm using the LaTeX Makefile that uses dvips, I need this %% package to make URLs word wrap nicely \usepackage{breakurl}

Preliminary results from the carbon calculators are interesting. Using my own personal data, Carbon Counter believes my emissions from air travel this year total 20.58 metric tons of CO2, while Dopplr‘s estimate for my air travel plus all the driving during my road trip totals 5.87 metric tons of CO2, a very different number. Carbon Counter sells carbon offsets (their calculator seems designed mostly as an input to tell you how many carbon offsets you should buy), so it would be in their financial interest to skew results higher. However, it’s too early to tell why the calculations are different. Carbon Counter has a nice page explaining how they calculate the values, and I haven’t investigated how AMEE (the service used by Dopplr) does the calculations.

No word from Dopplr on whether they would add a method to their API to extract the carbon data from trips. If they are unable or unwilling to do so, I could use the API to extract the travel information and send it to AMEE myself.

Other than continuing my reading, the big task for this shortened week is to crank out a first draft of my tech report.

Planned items from last week:

• Read 2 new papers from literature review list
• [DONE] Leveraging Social Networks To Motivate Individuals to Reduce their Ecological Footprints
• [DONE] Do increases in energy efficiency improve environmental quality and sustainability?
• Write up notes from papers read during PET paper lit review
• [DONE] Challenging Comfort & Cleanliness Norms Through Interactive In‐Home Feedback Systems
• [STARTED] Run through carbon calculators with my data
• [DONE] Fix LaTeX table
• [DONE] Follow up on Dopplr API request

Other accomplishments this week:

• Figured out how to use ssh-agent on Leopard, so my script to sync my proposal and tech report doesn’t prompt me for my password more than once per session
• Figured out how to make hyperlinks in LaTeX

Hours worked: 17 (target: 15 hr)

Plans for coming week:

• Write first draft of tech report
• Read 2 new papers from literature review list
• Carbon neutral – sense and sensibility
• How Much Energy Are We Using? Potential of Residential Energy Demand Feedback Devices
• Write up notes from papers read during PET paper lit review
• Promoting Environmentally Sustainable Behaviors Using Social Marketing In Emerging Persuasive Technologies
• Finish running through carbon metric calculators

Pointers to work products: