People make a hundred and one excuses – “climate change is natural, technology will solve it, it’s the Americans and Chinese who need to change, it’s not convenient to change, I would use less energy if everyone else did, I do my own compost so flying is OK, if the problems were real the Government would be doing more”.
But the Government promotes fracking, expands the airports, reduces energy saving support and builds new power stations when we the voters vote for them. The supermarkets sell salads that have come three thousand miles, and the car manufacturers aim to sell four cars per household….because we buy them.
What every individual can do if they choose to is:
- Get better informed. We recommend Chris Martenson’s Crash Course and Rob Hopkins’ Transition Handbook
- Review and change your personal footprint. This means living as though we only have one planet. Reduce your environmental footprint, and increase your citizen footprint. Our home energy, personal transport, shopping and rubbish and recycling pages give information and case studies. Our CRAG page explains how we learned more about cleaner and less energy by doing this as a group. Our Metford Road Community Orchard page tells you about one of many Bristol ventures concerned with local food. And you can join The Community Farm.
- Support organisations that are making a difference. Volunteer work and donations are bringing important change. Sustrans’ development of the National Cycle Network was voted the most popular millenium lottery fund initiative, achieved with a grant of £43 million. Sounds a lot? -well one mile of motorway costs £28.1 million. See our local links for some suggestions.
- Discuss these issues. Within any organisations you are part of, organise filmshowings, join or start a local Transition group, contact your local councillors and MP, and participate in your local Neighbourhood Partnership. The number of people who will voluntarily change what they buy and the energy they use is probably less than five percent. These voluntary changes help to influence local and national government, but on their own they cannot be the solution. So let your MP know that you are concerned about the environment and about climate change, are prepared to make do with less energy consumption and that you support the switch to clean energy.