Thursday, August 13, 2015

Personal Carbon Reduction: Part 1 - The Why

Self evaluation. Do you ever do that? Do you ever sit down to think about what you do?

We had a meeting at work yesterday where we did some group self evauation. We looked at what we've been doing well, what we've been doing badly, and how we can do it better in the future. We discussed words like vision and expectations, like overall goal and roadmap. I kept hearing my dad's philosophizing voice in my head, If you don't know where you're going, how do you know when you get there?

It was a three-hour meeting. The overactive brain, being what it is, drifted off a bit. Being a member of our disappearing middle class, my thoughts have been very focused on maintaining, you know, keeping the bills paid and keeping the stuff from falling further apart. Maintaining has required a lot of attention lately. Some people say they are getting caught up, staying afloat, treading water, making ends meet... It's been digging into my Mesquite Hugger thinking more than I would like.

But the overactive brain (in this meeting) had time to wander over to the Personal Carbon Reduction Corral.

When I look at environmentalism, I find that most ecologically healthy pursuits lead back to carbon reduction. For millions of years our earth and oceans have been a big sponge soaking up all the carbon and keeping it safely away from us, but we have been doing our damnedest in the last century to squeeze as much of that carbon back out so that we can have cheap gas, cheap electricity, and lots of plastic. (As an added bonus, we get cancer, lung disease, and exponential growth in our list of disappearing species.)

Man-made carbon release is the driving force in climate change and environmental destruction, regardless of what the chain of fools running for the Republican presidential candidacy will tell you.

Picture, if you will, going out to your garage, keeping the garage door closed, firing up your car, and just sitting there to see what happens. We attach a really horrific stigma to suicide in our culture, but we commit mass suicide each time we fire up a car, a lawnmower, or a coal-fired plant. We're just spitting our carbon into a much bigger garage, so it takes a little longer.

Which is why I try to stay focused on personal carbon reduction, and why I hope to encourage you to focus on the same.

I will be revisiting the personal carbon reduction series. I will be looking at words like vision, expectations, goals, and roadmap. I will be looking at ways to clean up my own act, offering options for you to do the same within your own grasp and your own budget, and for ways we can create carbon reduction on a much larger scale. I hope you will read along, join me, and find a place where you can step up and lead.

May we figure out our ideal destination and find a better way to get there.