How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Planet?: 95 Ways to Save Planet Earth
2 journalers for this copy...
1. martinburo - Norwich
2. BabyFlylady - East Yorkshire
3. Tazzell - Scotland
4. Tregossip - Cornwall (can post to EU)
then either back to me, Kernow8 - Southampton, or directly on to:
1. okyrhoe - Greece (can post worldwide)
2. Kimmi - BC, Canada
Last month I went to a meeting of Friends Of the Earth Norwich. We were five people, and I enjoyed the meeting, because we talked about things that I think are important: waste management without incineration, building new houses in such a way that it will stimulate use of public transport rather than needing a Northern Distributor Road to be built, and the fact that some biofuels do more damage than petrol. Then the meeting was over and four people got in their four cars and drove off, and I stood there unlocking my bicycle and thinking, maybe we're don't believe in the same things after all.
Not that I'm in a position to critisize: I produced one black back of waste last year, I stopped flying in 2002, don't have a car, and find 15 °C a comfortable temperature at home ... and I use 6.5 times more energy than is sustainable for one person just from computer time trying to predict how the ocean will respond to climate change. But that is just the point, I think we could make much more progress towards living within our ecological means if we cleaned up our own acts, rather than telling others what to do. And yes, I know this is a contradictory statement, so you all go ahead and convince politicians to replace VAT by an energy tax, and I'll be very pleased when the university starts making most of its electricity and heat with a wood burning CHP plant in 12 months time.
This book gave me the same uncomfortable feeling. Its basic outlook on human beings seems to be that the majority of people are uninterested in the kind of society and environment they live in, so we need smart people like TJ to decide what needs to be done. If all his proposals would be implemented we'd end up with a totalitarian regime. Not that I disagree with the individual points he makes, I'd call it enlightened despotism. It's just that a government with that much power over our lives would be sure to crush quite a few individuals. Now I sound like a liberal, and I don't think I am. I do think that the task of government is to protect the weak and regulate the strong, but there is only so much you can and should do to steer the majority in the middle. Like provide information. In that respect this book is very good. But it could have been more quantitative. I was much more impressed with David MacKay's Sustainable energy - without the hot air, full of numbers that show which parts of our habits are truely destructive and which are insignificant by comparison. ... And then let's us draw our own conclusions.
Let me also contradict myself here. Two weeks ago I told somebody what to do: I asked the IT manager of the university to turn the ~400 computers that students use off at night when the university closes, which by my estimation accounts for about 1% of the electricity use, and thus would be a significant improvement if implemented.
Kernow8, thanks for letting me take part. I'll ask for BabyFlylady's address now.