Do it yourself
It has been a tough year all around, especially for those of us concerned with AGW, anthropogenic global warming. The lack of action to mitigate AGW in Copenhagen, last December, when the Deniers seized media attention through the bogus and now thoroughly debunked email scam, and now the total failure of the Cancun conference a year later to enact anything at all that resembles action on Global Warming. All of this in light of the astounding evidence that we have passed the tipping point and that climate extremes and swings are beginning to show themselves as part of normal fabric we can expect in the coming years.
Watching all this unfold for me comes from twin perspectives. Firstly, I am a passionate scientist involved in science and science communication, and meteorology. Secondly I am just another of almost seven billion humans watching with little ability to affect a change. The scientist in me struggles to remain objective and dispassionate, to remain within the sea of information, and trust that those who do not have the background or the science understanding will at least respect the science that comes from our best and brightest scientists, that they will understand the veracity of what they have been handed.
The truth is that it is not so. The science, as it has been researched by our scientists, and in good faith handed to our mass media is being perverted and distorted by vested interests, in whose interests it lies to mismanage and skew what has been researched. As a citizen of this planet it makes me angry and resentful that a group of privileged and deceitful billionaires will ultimately, for their own twisted ends, spell the end of the amazing run of good climate luck that we have experienced for nigh on two millennia. In the name of economic growth we continue to burn fossil fuels, because we are willing to look the other way and allow the oil companies, auto companies and rampant unchecked consumerism and population growth to subvert good, common sense.
So what to do? Rage on? You and I know it will not budge things one iota. And the scientist in me says, don’t get angry, see the opportunity that is there. If governments, vested interests and the media cannot see the writing on the wall, so be it. But that will not stop me from making my own changes to how I live.
So in the coming year, this is what I will do to affect a chance.
- I will speak out, where ever and whenever I can, in all media.
- Personally, I will drive no faster than 95 kmh. No jump starts or sudden stops. I will walk more.
- The thermostat in my home will be no higher than 20C and I will heat individual rooms rather than the entire house.
- I will not participate in the orgy of wasted light this holiday season. It is not festive, faithful, celebratory. It is wasteful, arrogant and stupid.
- I will eat less meat and buy local.
- I have cut my air travel in half.
- I will cut single-use plastic out of my life.
My goal is to cut my carbon output by 50 per cent this year. Match that Steve, Darryl and Pete!
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