May 16, 2011

No Gas Monday

"About 60 percent of the oil consumed daily by Americans is used for transportation, and about 45 percent is used for passenger cars and light trucks."  - Sherwood Boehlert

The dilemma of driving. Or flying. Or buying our food from producers in distant lands. Or relying on fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides to grow food on fossil fuel dependent industrial farms. Or conspicuous consumption.

There is a disconnect between our actions (relying solely on fossil fuels), and our well-documented knowledge of the destruction associated with their extraction and use.

In psychology this disconnect is called cognitive dissonance, and it causes unhealthy amounts of stress. In order to reduce the uncomfortable feelings that come from holding conflicting ideas simultaneously, we deny, and make excuses and explanations to justify our actions. "I have to _________ because __________."

Or we confront the truth, and change our behaviour. If we know fossil fuels are globally destructive, we begin to reduce our reliance on them as soon as possible. This is a more effective way of reducing the mental confusion and stress that results from repeating behaviours we know are not good for us, our families, or the planet.

Reducing reliance on fossil fuels = reducing cognitive dissonance and STRESS. We are happier, the planet is happier. Everyone - except Big Oil - wins.

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