Taking personal action on global warming

December 12, 2006 1:28 pm

This is something I’ve wanted to post for a long time, but have so far been too “chicken” to do. Now I think the time has come, though. It’s time for my first “opinion” post. Here goes:

I went to see “An Inconvenient Truth” a while back. I remember seeing a show on television many years ago that tackled the same topic. I don’t remember much about it, except for the illustration it ended with: It said that the amount of warming going on in the atmosphere was equivalent to the heat of one atomic bomb going off every 30 seconds. So they showed footage of just that every 30 seconds for about two or three minutes. Now, I was quite young when I saw this show, and I realize with time gone by that the images were manipulative, but it stuck with me.

As a result I’ve always had a very adverse relationship with cars. Not only do they pollute the atmosphere with particles and noxious gases, they also contribute greatly to global warming. Around the time I left high school I vowed that I would not buy a car until I at least was 30. Well, I never kept that vow, since I got married and had my first child at 26. Still, the car we bought was small and we used it as little as possible, going shopping using a bicycle trailer, using buses as much as possible and so on. Even today, I refuse to buy more than one car. Yes, that means you have to plan your trips more, and it makes it hard to do things independently, but I just can’t bring myself to getting another one.

After seeing An Inconvenient Truth, I was compelled to do more. We’ve already replaced all the lightbulbs in our house with compact fluorescent ones, where possible and practical. We use the air conditioner as little as we can and keep the house relatively cool in the winter. I was going to sign up for being trained on Al Gore’s presentation, but it turned out to be too much of a commitment to be practical for me. So I decided to go “carbon neutral” instead. I visited http://www.nativeenergy.com/ and put my data into their carbon calculator. It spit out a number of carbon emissions I needed to offset, and I did so by supporting projects that nativeenergy.com works on. Here’s my certificate:

Carbon Offset Certificate

I don’t think there is any doubt that global warming is happening, and since there are no other intelligent beings on the planet that can do something about it, I think we humans need to act. Even if it is just to make the planet habitable for our children. I’m sure life in general will survive, even if we do nothing. I just don’t want my kids to have to live in a world as envisioned in An Inconvenient Truth.


One Response to “Taking personal action on global warming”

Kathy wrote a comment on July 3, 2007

Hey geek tie guy, this event at Kepler’s on Sunday 8/19 may interest you. They’re going to have some presenters from Al Gore’s Climate Project speaker bureau thingie.


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