We hear about climate change all the time now, we know it’s bad, we understand much of the science behind the phenomenon. But what can we do? No really, what CAN we do? How does this broad concept connect with our daily lives?
We turn off and unplug appliances, we try to take public transport where possible, we use fewer resources, turn down the air conditioning in summer and heat in winter, we buy less bottled water.
But often we don’t stop to think about the rest of our lives. We still want to eat strawberries in winter, meat flown in from the U.S. We (or our children) still buy clothes where often quantity and price reigns over quality.
We look for lower prices (because we’re hooked on cheaper is better) and then don’t have to think so hard about whether or not that particular cheap item that clearly is not taking into account the environmental or social cost of production is actually needed.
We change our cars regularly, buy the latest Apple gadget (must have the ipad, the latest computer to stay in touch) and think nothing of chucking an iphone, ipod that has lasted only a year.
What happened to the time in the not so distant past when we romanced a dress for a long time and just one purchase was ok, when we could buy fresh local produce and meat in season, when one car lasted a decade or more, when we didn’t need gadget upon gadget to be happy?
So back to climate change: All of that consumption, flying goods around, needs energy. Production and energy (produced largely by coal in China) at least at the moment lead to air pollution and climate change. Sometimes we forget the connections.
In Hong Kong this week Clean Air Network has been good to remind us with its tongue-in-cheek Fresh Air video what we face if we don’t change our bad habits: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmH3xCpOSW8