Miles Traer, a Stanford University geologist, has created a presentation with two of his colleagues regarding the carbon footprint for nine superheroes. As expected, the presentation shows some disappointing results, and delivers a tongue-in-cheek way of getting people to question their own carbon footprints.
This presentation, for example, claims that Iron Man and Batman are actually generating large amounts of CO2 with their technical equipment, literally dooming the environment in their attempts to stop crime. Traer managed to calculate the Batmobile’s CO2 output by comparing it with real world military vehicles, and theorizes it pumps out 48,000 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. The average American only produces 44,000 pounds of CO2 from all of their activities combined.
One interesting point is made about The Flash, that depending on how he uses his energy, he could spend anywhere from 131 pounds of carbon to 89.5 million pounds. Jeeze. And Superman? He uses the least amount, taking energy from the sun. And Swamp Thing actually eats up CO2. It’s probably Batman, then, who’s the worst. Aside from his Batmobile, his Oracle system generates over a billion pounds of CO2.
Traer explains he’s not trying to insult superheroes, and is actually a big fan. He just wants to get people curious about their carbon footprints.
“I’m not saying that superheroes are bad. What I’m trying to point out is, hey, how can we improve their carbon footprint. Let’s say, ‘Hey Batman, you’re driving around in this behemoth car; maybe have some regenerative braking, maybe have a hybrid engine of some kind.'”
While he’s tackled some interesting theories for superheroes and how much CO2 they generate, he’s tempted to take a look at supervillains next. He theorizes Mr. Freeze creates a ton of CO2 because freezers leave such a large carbon footprint.
It’s definitely something to think about, and I wonder how it applies to other genres as well. How about the Death Star from Star Wars? The theories are endless.
What do you think of this new assessment? Are superheroes bad for the environment? Be sure to tell us all of your thoughts and theories in the comments!