The scientists say we need to reduce our greenhouse emissions by 40% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 if we want to even have a 50:50 chance of not starting runaway climate change (where temperature rises trigger the release of frozen methane and other effects that will rapidly heat the world to disastrous levels). So, we best get started eh?
The Guardian and Franny Armstrong, director of The Age of Stupid, have launched the 10:10 campaign. The challenge is to reduce the emissions you a responsible for by 10% by next year. It’s not really such a challenge at all. The first 10% is easy.
The Guardian provides some simple options for reducing your emissions. It’s a bit UK-orientated though. Here’s some tips more relevant for us:
– reduce your meat and dairy intake. Most of us are getting plenty of protein and iron. Reducing the amount of meat and dairy you consume also helps with weight control and decreases cancer and other diseases.
– reduce your power usage. Sure, 70% of the power generated in New Zealand is from renewable sources but that’s all baseload. Every watt you can cut means less coal needs to be burnt. Buy energy efficient lights. If you’re getting a new TV get a LCD rather than plasma – same price, half the energy use – and go smaller, a 40 inch screen uses 20% less energy than a 46 inch screen. Buy high energy efficiency whiteware, don’t buy bigger than you need, and keep them maintained. You’re not just saving emissions, you’re saving money.
– drive less and drive right. Just the savings you make on parking costs make public transport the smarter option for commuting. Don’t carry around heavy things in your car that you aren’t using, keep your tyres correctly inflated and your engine maintained. Again, you’re saving money and the climate.
Adopt a few simple practices like these and you’ll easily cut your emissions by 10% in a year, and we’ll be getting on to the path of saving ourselves from ourselves.
Our leaders should set the standard. The British parties say they will do their bit, our parties should sign up too. Politicians could slash their emissions just by ordering their meetings and appearances so they’re not flying from one end of the country to the other all the time.