Archive for February 11th, 2008

Making the Riot Easy

Sharon February 11th, 2008

Kiashu has a terrific post over at Green With a Gun about what a 1 tonne carbon lifestyle looks like. For those who have been terrified by the calculations of the Riot for Austerity, Kyle gives you a mental picture of what a fair share life actually looks like. I was very impressed by this, and the level of detail involved.

I think one of the hardest things about making changes is having a sense of what it would look like.

I particularly liked this point:

“But I can’t because…

In the developed West, the average person can do this. For every person who is 100km from work and won’t cycle, there’ll be another one who is just 3km from work and can walk, not even having those public transport emissions. Some will need more meat because they’re menstruating or recovering from surgery, but others will be vegan. Some won’t have any yard at all to garden in, or even a balcony for container plants, but others will have relatives living in the country who’ll be delighted for them to plant trees in some disused paddock. Individuals may be able have less emissions in one area but more in another, walking to work but eating more meat, using less electricity but buying more books, and so on and so forth. So this represents an average. Just because you find one area difficult doesn’t mean you have to forget the other areas.

Doing these emissions-reducing things, living the one-tonne-carbon lifestyle, is not something everyone can do, because we don’t have the public transport or renewable energy generation capacity. It’s a bit like becoming rich – anyone can do it, but not everyone can do it. The difference between this lifestyle and becoming rich is that as we put in the public transport and renewable energy infrastructure, everyone will be able to live like this, whereas it’ll never be the case that everyone can be rich. As the public transport becomes used more, and more people sign up for wind energy and so on, the infrastructure will be built. This is why even though the lifestyle suggested here you could live tomorrow, in the Goal Emissions article I allowed a decade for everyone to change to this lifestyle. That also allows ten years while you say, “but I can’t because…”

And a lot of us can do a lot of this sooner, rather than later. We live out in the country, and my husband can’t bike to work in the winter, but he can carpool, and I can stay home altogether, and share my emissions with him. My oldest son has to be bussed to a school for kids with disabilities, but his brothers can be homeschooled, and share their fair share of emissions with their big brother. We can all change our diets to a degree. We can all do some of this now, and a little more each day.

Nice one, Kiashu!