What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

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Friday, 25 July 2008

The P word - by Robb

According to an article in the Telegraph two UK doctors are urging GP's to talk to patients about climate change and encourage reducing the number of children they are planning to have.

"The Optimum Population Trust calculates that 'each new UK birth will be responsible for 160 times more greenhouse gas emissions . . . than a new birth in Ethiopia'."

If that is the difference in the UK imagine the contrast in the US where the typical impact relative to energy is 50% higher for the same level of lifestyle.

This approach seems rational to me. It involves a voluntary educational effort as opposed to draconian policy efforts and should raise awareness to some small degree. However, the main issue is still the level of lifestyle. If the UK can have a similar level of lifestyle for 50% less personal energy use then it follows that the US could do much to curb it's consumption and still maintain a level of comfort and health that far surpasses that of the typical Ethiopian.

Yes we should address the population issue but at whatever degree of population we find ourselves we urgently need to scale back general consumption, become more self sufficient within local economy, and most importantly do all we can both at a personal level and as nations to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels. We must leave them in the ground.

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