When will emission reduction become personal?

COP28 (Conference of the Parties), an annual meeting where United Nations member states meet to assess progress in dealing with climate change and make an updated plan for climate action, starts tomorrow.

I’m increasingly aware that I’ve not done anything in my personal life to adjust my activities in a way that reduces my greenhouse gas emissions.

Who remembers the past times of campaigns and broad energy savings changes everyone was asked to make? Do you remember the push to reduce thermostats to 68, a rush to switch to compact fluorescent bulbs, and ending gas-guzzler car use?

For a while, energy reduction was everyone’s business. Then, it became a celebration when our country made enough to export.

Arguably, I’ve only been increasing my emissions with a few more airplane trips, a new hot tub, and no slow-down in 2 cycle gas toys (saws, trimmer, snowmachines, boat). Professionally, I’ve done plenty of advocacy and climate change community facilitation, but does it count to be a part of others doing something, as long as I don’t have to change?

I think (hope) we are past broad denial or the memes about how much diesel is needed to mine the products required for an EV battery.

When will climate change goals and greenhouse gas reduction become personal? Something we will pay for the added costs and effort, and not just an economic opportunity we consider, but only if it saves money, such as adding solar panels, which must have an ROI over electric bills regardless of emission benefits.

Ky, 11/29/23


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