"Because of the complexity of the problem, environmental skepticism was once tenable. No longer. It is time to flip from skepticism to activism."
-- Michael Shermer
A few years ago, I could have easily been called a climate change skeptic. It wasn't that I was blind to the ice caps melting or the acidification of the oceans. I just wondered if humans really had anything to do with it. I've since learned enough to feel like we are certainly playing some role in global warming, but somewhere along the way I also decided it didn't matter. The changes we need to make are better for the planet and for the future.
Yesterday, I used a carbon calculator to determine our footprint.
Your estimated greenhouse gas emissions are 80 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent per year, which is below the U.S. national average.
The average five person household in America emits 130 tons, which makes us look pretty good. But compared to the average family of five in the world (28 tons), we are clearly not doing enough.
We plan to take a few more steps in the right direction by recycling more items, hanging a clothes line, and planting a garden. Our largest contribution to carbon emissions is through driving. Our van is as fuel efficient as we can make it, but walking or biking isn't an option where we live. There are no sidewalks or bike lanes, and we live on a busy highway. However, B was able to negotiate a new work schedule that has him in the office one less day per week, and three fewer when he is on-call. That saves 86 miles per day and about 6000 less per year!
What are you doing? Can you do more?
I love this video. It's got great music, simple but powerful graphics, and it was done by a kid.