Wednesday, May 09, 2007

reducing my footprint

I started this post last week. Since then, I've learned that Terrapass is looking for a Director of Carbon Policy. Who knew that getting a PPA degree could present such amazing options? Another organization that has a sweet setup is Livable Places, an affordable housing developer in LA that has a policy wing which helps communities advocate for affordable, compact housing as a way to address traffic, air quality and climate change issues.

It's this kind of systemic thinking that makes me happy. Integration really floats my boat. Treehugger has been championing this kind of thinking vis-a-vis climate change, and last week examined the potential negative impact of eco-celebs making unreasonable suggestions about helping moderate climate change. If there's one thing that treehugger has done very well, it's provide a good example while presenting incremental opportunities for people to increase their greenness.

Goofy sentiments re: toilet paper aside, I still think that we need to make conservation cool. Not just consuming the same amount of product, energy, etc made from greener materials or methods, but a whole new paradigm. Eco-geeks are into things like recycling, upcycling, no impact, etc. Since I graduated from college, I've been troubled by the idea that market-oriented thinking is primarily growth-based, and that capitalism, especially with respect to globalization, requires opening new markets, regardless of overall sustainability (China, anyone?).

You can't get away from green these days. It's amazing to me how it has exploded. Though I am not pro-hippie, I did enjoy this missive from Mark Morford.

This article describes a new target for the overzealous green advocates: the single household. I thought about this when I decided to not live with other people anymore. I've taken a few carbon footprint quizzes to see whether my lifestyle is really as green as I want it to be, and I'm pleased to see the EPA providing an assessment tool. (By the way, I am pretty damn green, and while not even close to carbon-neutral, doing a lot better than most.)

But as the recent IPCC report on mitigating climate change suggests, while individuals can make choices that contribute to reducing the impacts of climate change, it will take broad, government and industry-based interventions to truly achieve the kinds of CO2 reductions necessary to lessen the effects of a warming world on our food systems, economies and health.

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