There are lots of actions we can take to reduce our fuel and energy consumption
To use less fuel we can commit to using the car less, walking or cycling for short journeys, car pooling. As churches and Dioceses we can look at how we do meetings – can some of them to change to video conferencing or Skype calls? For those of us who fly, the impact of air flights is enormous. Let us choose holidays that do not involve flying, send a video message to a conference rather than attending in person.
To use less energy, we can look at our household use and turn up or down thermostats on water heaters and fridges, choose a fan instead of air con, purchase energy saving lights or electronic gadgets, put insulation in our homes, move to renewables if we can.
But do these individual actions matter? I will share some insights from Rev Fletcher Harper
“Why are we, as individuals, asked to change our lifestyles when the climate crisis is arguably not due to personal deficiency? Our power as consumers is strong but asking individuals to bear the burden of global warming can shift responsibility and accountability away from those causing the vast majority of climate change.
Consider this: A recent report found that just 100 companies are responsible for a whooping 71% of global emissions since 1988. Incredibly, only 25 corporations and state-owned entities were responsible for more than half of global industrial emissions in that same period. Most of these are coal and oil producing companies and include ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, Gazprom, and the Saudi Arabian Oil Company.
And so I wondered: What can I do, as an individual, that actually matters, and what do we need to do together to slow the increasingly destructive effects of climate change?
Here is where we come down on this: it’s not EITHER/OR, it’s YES…AND.
Of course, we need to consume less and choose more low-carbon alternatives. But individual choices will most count when we also come together in bold collective movements to hold accountable those who cause the greatest damage. Here is how we are thinking about this:
YES, low-carbon individual choices are important. Here are some reasons:
- As important as the carbon impact of our individual choices, though, is the fact that every act is changing norms with a wider knock-on effect that influences others, and shifts what is viewed as ‘normal.’ To give you an example: In a survey that a researcher conducted in 2018, an impressive half of the respondents who knew someone who has given up flying because of climate change said they, in turn, fly less. Around three quarters said it had changed their attitudes towards flying and climate change in some way. And these effects increased if a famous person had given up flying.
- Taking a bold position (like becoming a vegan or giving up flying) really distills the link between values and actions. And, as you well know as a person of faith: It’s important to live a life where values and actions align. That also makes us much more credible messengers when we speak about the importance of action on climate change.
So – talk about what you are changing in your life in response to climate change. It may have a powerful ripple effect”.
Rev Fletcher Harper , Green Faith
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