December 9, 2010

Simple Living And Climate Change

As another international conference on climate change faces being diluted to the point of uselessness by big money interests, many are wondering if meaningful action will ever come. Will Cancun go down in history as Can'tcun?

Author/educator Bill McKibben has been in Mexico the past few days, and says that people power is what is needed. He sees the current process as being successfully hijacked by big oil and complicit governments. Again.
"It’s on who has the power. And at the moment, that power rests in the hands of the fossil fuel industry and their allies in governments around the world. And until we build some independent outside movement power to push back, then we’re never going to get—we’re going to get scraps from the table, at the very best."  
Meanwhile witnesses representing the billions that are most affected by climate change protest outside watched by soldiers in Hummers. The people are not invited to the table. Against these barriers to change, what can a person do?

Simple living is an effective, and doable, solution we can adopt to address climate change. We can decrease our carbon footprint, and increase our enjoyment of living at the same time. We can take back our power, create a more just planet, and address the climate crisis.

 Living simply reduces our reliance on the fossilized forces advocating profit over human and planetary welfare. Taking personal responsibility for climate change will give us the power to push back as we become more self-reliant and sustainable.

Individual actions and choices are what will turn things around if our governments are indeed unable to fulfill their responsibility to their citizens. How can we expect Cancun to do anything if we are unable to change our own way of life?

The more simply and sustainably we live, the smaller our carbon footprint will be. Growing our own food, reducing energy-intensive travel, living in smaller more efficient spaces, and working less are all examples of ways simple living addresses climate change. A slower, deeper life requires less energy, saves us money, and reduces stress.

We should not be surprised, or daunted, by the failure of the establishment to make change. But we will be remiss if we fail to seize this historic opportunity for the people to come together and address this issue in a way we have never seen before. Living small-footprint, increasingly sustainable lives will be part of this response.

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