Thursday, October 1, 2009

Habits & Change for Climate Change: Sustainability Determined by Everyday People

I decided to surf today because of a tsunami warning due to the Samoan earthquake. My prayers go out to the victims and their families, thankfully California will be spared. As I was driving I noticed my Air Conditioning was on, something I almost never do, and it really got me upset that I drove 14 miles from my home neglecting to notice the extra cool air emitting from the air vents. Realization of my habits and my reaction had me thinking: How had I become someone that so adamantly hates energy inefficiency?

I was different after some classes and viewing a couple of documentaries namely: Who Killed The Electric Car and An Inconvenient Truth. That still represents a considerable amount of time, energy, and money to come to a lifestyle change and attitude adjustment. I realize I had lived in a bubble called college, shielded from three hour drives every day to work in Los Angeles and a forty hour plus work week. No not mine, but I've heard if it. Throw in the responsibility of raising kids and I wonder where is there time for my family or the average American family to pickup any cause, let alone change daily habits or raise awareness regarding climate change.

While in school I  administered a seminar regarding social issues for a quarter and even in a dense population of do good, feel good students in one of the epicenters of social change advocacy there was resentment to understanding problems and difficulty creating meaningful solutions. Often time at the end of a series of discussions the only way to create change for the better was determined to be education and specifically at the earliest stages possible. My personal work mulling over society's issues arrived to that same conclusion. But, we are faced with a problem that needed to be addressed 30 years ago. It's like we're at the top of a roller-coaster with bad or no tracks coming ahead; We're just starting to build a solution as our troubles rush towards us.

We are at a location where we can still ignore the problem, and unfortunately those of us that do continue habits and practices that slow down decision-making. A recent article I found on Justmeans.comregarding climate change ignorance, had me nodding my head in approval. As I progress through life I notice more and more of that kind of strong division on issues that have very complicated consequences. Simply put, you cannot change peoples' minds easily even if the health of the planet depended on it. We can't just wait for the next generation to handle climate change as there aren't any brakes on our way to the future. All our goals of implementing renewable energy technology and sustainable designs to lower emissions and improve climate change require a new outlook on how we use energy and carry out our daily habits from: cooking to driving (with the AC off), and all the in-between.

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