December 16, 2015

COP21: A Global Wake Up Call For Simpler Lifestyles

Wake Up! Time to simplify for the planet, for the kids, for all living things that love this Earth.

Finally, a global call for simpler lifestyles has been issued. I knew it would come sooner or later, but thought it would be later. Much later. But it is here now - it is time to simplify our lives and save the planet from catastrophic climate change.

That is the takeaway from the COP21 climate talks that concluded recently in Paris. Although you won't see the call to simplicity in plain language, it is woven throughout the recommendations. Experts are even saying that it is time for all citizens to "make changes in their day to day lives".

Looking at the changes recommended for the masses, we can see that they are one and the same as those being called for by simple living advocates.  Both see lower consumption/lower waste, reduced carbon ways of living as the answer to many of our problems, including climate change.

So what does an ideal post COP21 lifestyle look like?

  • reduced travel
  • eating lower on the food chain to minimize/eliminate consumption of high emission meat products
  • changing transportation patterns that favour biking, walking, and public transportation, as well as relying on train and bus travel for longer trips
  • smaller more energy efficient homes that use less energy and emit less green house gases
  • reduced consumption overall means focusing on meeting needs and eliminating wants
  • growing your own food, and buying locally grown food when needed
  • increased investments in residential renewable energy solutions so the people can make their own clean power
  • reduced work week 
  • increased cooperation on all levels
  • de-clawing capitalism and industry through regulation and reduced citizen demand
  • embracing childlessness and reducing global population

We will only meet our goal of a carbon-neutral world by 2050 if there is a massive buy-in from citizens. The call has been issued - the richest 50% of the population responsible for 90% of carbon emissions are being invited to adopt simpler lifestyles and shift from being part of the problem to being part of the solution. I wonder how they will respond. 

If you have already evolved into a simpler, low consumption/low-carbon lifestyle, congratulations for being ahead of the curve. You will be providing a valuable role model for those who will follow, whether eagerly or reluctantly, because the need for simpler, lower emission lives has become undeniable.

Time to wake up citizens - simplify now and save the earth, or go on consuming wildly and hope that humanity makes it to a new planet before this one fails entirely. 

5 comments:

  1. Greg,
    Great read, I think the last rule is the most important "embracing childlessness and reducing global population" I think over population is the root of most of the worlds problems, but its like no one ever wants to talk about that. unfortunately I think most humans are to selfish and short sided to take that route.


    Roddy

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    Replies
    1. Roddy- I agree! No one wants to discuss childlessness. At the very least we should aim for zero population growth and keep it to only one child per person. In the 1970's this was discussed at length, not sure what happened.

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    2. I too am childless. I thought I was the only one that felt that way about overpopulation being at the very root of all our problems. You are right, no one wants to discuss it. I think it is because the vast majority of people have children and feel very defensive about the subject. It seems we are conditioned by the media from a very early age to reproduce...I bet it has something to do with the need for creating more "Consumers".
      The young people I meet that are still childless I tell them about the positive aspects of it. I like to mention the fact that it is rather selfish to create a new child in your own image instead of adopting one of the many beautiful children already created and left to suffer on their own without a loving parent.
      Does anyone have a story about how they speak to people about the overpopulation problem? Any insight as to why people are willing to ignore the issue and keep reproducing? T

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    3. Childfree by choice here. One of the huge factors in that (among others, mind you) was the impact on the earth by yet another child. But the topic is, indeed, a volatile one unfortunately. Very frustrating.

      ~A

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  2. My husband and I have just one child. World population was a concern when we were discussing if we should have a second. And it's not just the number of people. Many people with larger families have larger homes, larger vehicles, spend more time driving to activities and on and on. Obviously, family size is a personal decision but it's important to discuss how our actions affect everyone.

    -Kate

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