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.

Blog Archive

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Mediocrity is unacceptable.

Over on another site where I publish a blog, AltGlobe, I have recently been held up as a model of sustainable living. While flattered I must point out the danger in accepting this accolade. We must guard against the tendency to settle for the lowest common denominator when it comes to cutting greenhouse gas emissions, we simply do not have that luxury!

Do you think I'm kidding? Take a look at this post over on Climate Progress detailing the hellish future we face if we don't radically cut emissions. It deals with a new NOAA report assessing the likely impacts of business as usual. Here is an excerpt.

"The thermometer in this landmark U.S. government report puts warming at 9 to 11°F over the vast majority of the inland U.S. — and that is only the average around 2090 (compared to 1961-1979 baseline). On this emissions path, the IPCC’s A2 scenario, most of the inland United States will be warming about 1°F a decade by century’s end. Worse, we are on pace to exceed the A2 scenario (which is “only” about 850 ppm in 2100): See U.S. media largely ignores latest warning from climate scientists: “Recent observations confirm … the worst-case IPCC scenario trajectories (or even worse) are being realised” — 1000 ppm.... Much of the southern United States is projected to have more than twice as many days per year above 90°F by the end of this century."

We need to decrease our emissions by over 90%. My meagre efforts don't even come close, nor do the outcomes of the current climate bill in front of Congress. Of the facets of my lifestyle that I have direct control over there are still many that are unacceptable if I intend to cut my personal emissions by 90% or more.

I still use electricity generated from fossil fuel, unacceptable.

I still utilize air travel, even if never for holidays, unacceptable.

I still eat substantial quantities of imported food, unacceptable.

I still occasionally ride in a fossil fuel powered vehicle, unacceptable.

I still occasionally eat meat, unacceptable.

There are those who have foresworn all of these activities if not completely then to a much greater degree than I. They are the models not I.

I will continue to report on my efforts to improve my carbon footprint. Plans are afoot to do just that. Meanwhile I urge you to do the same and to lobby congress for ever more aggressive legislation to cut greenhouse gas emissions!

Mediocrity is unacceptable.

1 comment:

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