Sunday, May 11, 2008

Is there a Power of One?

Last summer I read George Monibot's book Heat.
The book is a comprehensive assault on the complacency, wishful thinking and technological messiahness, that soothes most peoples concerns over Global Warming.

Systematically Monibot destroys the "easy options" being bandied about; nuclear power, renewables and, well, eating tofu.

The only alternatives to catastrophic climatic change, according to Monibot, is for a 90% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.


After reading the book I went and through a friend had my carbon footprint calculated for 2007.

I had imagined that I would be below the average in Ireland. I walk regularly, drive a average car, recycle (sort of), don't take unnecessary flights and turn off the appliances at night.

However the result revealed that my carbon footprint was 12.1 tonnes in 2007. The Irish average was 10.2 tonnes.

Cracking into action, and as penance, I went down to the garden centre, bought and planted four fruit trees and a bunch of hedging.

For 2008 my aim is to get my footprint below 10 tonnes.


I recycle everything at this stage. Using the three bins we have in Dublin and separate the waste into each one.

I use conference calling and Skype with video to avoid needless work trips.

I have cut down on eating meat.

I check where the food produce we buy actually comes from. (No more tomatoes from Chile)

I got the bike out from the shed for the short trips to the shops and local house visits.

I fix things rather than looking to replace them.

I will buy second hand CDs and books on Amazon.

I have become somewhat obsessive about turning off household appliances.

Where I have failed and this isn't good, is around flights. Too many again this year, but will be one less than 2007.

The changes I made have been have been easy and I am confident I can get below 10 tonnes this year.

The nagging problem of course is what difference, aside from me feeling better about myself, will it make.....??

What we need is a mandated benign enforcer to bring in radical laws that oblige us all to conform to massive reduction.

Surely that's a role for the Greens in Government?

Calculate your own Carbon Footprint here.

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