Some commentators think that measuring people's environmental impacts is the next big thing in government control. I disagreed with this:
I think that these concepts (press releases perhaps) are useful as quantitative measures of the externalities (bad/good/neutral) associated with our activities -- and by netting out the numbers -- world trade. If the average American has a large carbon, water, etc. footprint, that indicates that Americans are using more of the environment for their lifestyles (duh!), but it also indicates the "terms of environmental trade" in a way that can be useful -- especially if carbon trading goes global.Bottom Line: Knowledge is power -- give it to the people.