Thursday, 3 September 2009

Shameless(ly environmental) plug

It is called 10:10.
George Mobiot tells us why we need it.
The Guardian tells us how to do it.

A 10 percent carbon emissions cut in the year 2010. We cut our personal em missions both for their own sake and to offer as an example to government, to get them to sign the country up to the same course. It is simple and catchy, and it is in line with the science. Emissions cuts of this size and rapidity are the only thing that will work if the world is to avoid a 2 degree rise in global temperatures. At 2 degrees the matter is taken out of our hands and no human intervention can stop the atmospheric feedbacks that will take the heat to unbearable levels. It's not about polar bears and rain-forests. It's about the Gulf Stream changing course and the British Isles gaining the climate of Siberia. It's about Bangladesh flooding. It's about a global climate too hot to grow food and billions of people dying as a result. It's real and it's bad, it's real bad.

My big environmental vice is that I'm a Japanologist. I fly to Japan. Planes have a fuck-off giant carbon footprint. You can waste 10s of thousands of plastic bags before you approach the environmental damage caused by one flight to France. I would like a world where flying to Japan is as difficult as possible. Perhaps a world where there is one flight per week from one European centre to one Far Eastern one. But as we are not living in that world, I will have to hypocritically economically support an airline industry that should be destroyed. But with the exception of Japan (and I will allow myself to fly to see my sister if, as she plans, she goes on to study in America for 3 years) I don't need to fly. So I won't. My pledge, in writing, in public, is to renounce all non-Japan flights. I can take the train.

I'm in Japan, so it's easy for me to reduce my emissions this year. No non-public baths; only showers. No cars or taxis; take trains, ride bikes and walk. At least one vegetarian day a week. Buy less stuff.

It's not about being preachy or righteous. Being environmental is not about being a saint, it's about accepting reality and adjusting to it. 10:10 is a great program that has the potential to invigorate the fight against climate change and propel the government to real, immediate action.

I ask you again to sign up.

1 comment:

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