At last, we have cleared a key hurdle on climate change. The vast majority of people now agree that climate change is real, that the raft of record-setting rainstorms and associated floods, powerful hurricanes, and massive wildfires are evidence enough. Recognition is the first step in solving a problem. Now what?
While decision makers in Washington and elsewhere are squabbling about what to do about climate change, when to do it and to what degree, we citizens can take tangible steps to address climate change now.
We have all heard the argument that action taken by an individual can’t possibly make a difference. But what we’re talking about involves spurring the actions of the many, which begins with you and me.
As one who believes in grabbing the low-hanging fruit first, how we use our cars is a perfect place to start. Consider these simple actions that both address climate change and save money:
1. Bundle car-related errands so as to reduce the overall miles driven. Less windshield time leaves more money in your wallet, not to mention frees up more time for other things.
2. Accelerate gradually and drive the speed limit. This, too, saves you money and gas, which means less auto emissions that contribute to climate change.
3. Turn off your engine while you “pop in” for that quick errand. Again, reduced emissions result.
4. When it comes time to replace that tired vehicle, choose one that gets better fuel economy. It will save you hundreds of dollars every year in reduced fuel costs.
The beauty of these measures is they save us money, while reducing the planetary carbon footprint. Done by just one per cent of the American population would mean billions of pounds of carbon emissions kept out of the atmosphere every year.
It is worth noting that there is a national effort to enact legislation to address climate change. You can visit the website of Citizens Climate Lobby for details, at citizensclimatelobby.org.
Each of us has a role here. Thankfully, doing so does not have to cost us a nickel, while saving us plenty.