27 September 2022

Carbon impact of day to day living

I am 100% for responsibility with regard to climate change amelioration. But we should remember what is important and what, relatively speaking, is less so. Of course we should use less one-use plastic and drive electric cars. But it's the conversion of the entire transportation infrastructure and energy infrastructure that is what will do what's needed, not individual responsibility, by and large. Keep in mind that even if the electricity to drive your EV were entirely derived from renewables (which it isn't, in North America, certainly), you would still have to drive it for about ten years to offset the carbon impact just from the fact that it is new, i.e., another car, with the carbon impact of its very manufacture. Even if it replaces an ICE car that goes to recycling, that, too, is additional carbon impact. And driving it for an entire year doesn't make up for a single thousand mile flight in an airliner by one person. You would have to reuse a plastic container about 10,000 times to equal one such flight, and that includes the carbon impact of making the containers and disposing of them. And we bemoan the plastics in the ocean, but almost all of it comes from shipping disposal and environmentally detrimental disposal methods in less advanced countries; very little plastic from North America ends up in the ocean. This isn't intended to recommend wasteful behavior; far from it. The point is that our collective action to convert all of society into a renewable energy mode, and one that develops sustainable materials technology, is what is essential. Individual "good behavior" is secondary and would never be enough. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Gyromantic Informicon. Comments are not moderated. If you encounter a problem, please go to home page and follow directions to send me an e-mail.