READERS of TCW will no doubt want to do their utmost to avoid the consequences of the climate Armageddon that is upon us.
Now you can demonstrate your green credentials by taking a personal ‘Climate Pledge’ to ensure your future lifestyle choices help the planet to recover from the damage you have caused.
My Climate Pledge
I pledge to assist my government in achieving ‘net zero carbon emissions’ by 2050, but due to the seriousness of the climate crisis I will try to achieve this by 2030 through changing my personal lifestyle to the frugal one existing before the Industrial Revolution 250 years ago.
I accept that China should be given a free pass on increasing its CO2 emissions and the building of numerous new coal-fired power stations until 2030, and allowed to continue to increase its overall share of global human CO2 emissions, currently 30 per cent.
I accept that by relying on weather-dependent renewables for power in my own country that the provision of energy will be intermittent and more expensive and will need to be rationed. Consequently I understand that my usage of electric and gas will be controlled by utility companies through the installation of smart meters in my home and business.
I accept that private fossil fuel cars are outmoded and shall switch to an electric vehicle in the full knowledge of the damage caused to the environment by the mining, often by child slaves, and processing of the materials for their construction, and that China owns many of these natural resources in various parts of the world.
I am not concerned at the huge costs involved and appreciate that in order to avoid the Climate Emergency, I will need to make, at the minimum, the following permanent lifestyle changes:
I will travel only by bus, cycling, walking or train. No flying except in an emergency.
No spring water in plastic bottles, no imported food or food out of season when there is a local alternative. A drastic reduction in meat eating is needed, together with severe limitations on consumption of dairy and fish, achieved by way of taxation.
No hot daily showers, an embargo on throwaway fashion clothes, no cotton. Infrequent washing of clothes in tepid water and no artificial drying of them should be the norm.
Minimal home and workplace heating will be the norm, which will be combined with regular power cuts. There will be limited public street lighting.
Drastic reductions of energy-guzzling internet and social media use, combined with a substantial reduction in the consumption of music, film and TV streaming services, especially in high definition format.
I understand that smartphones and computers will be rationed to one per household. Such devices will be kept indefinitely and used infrequently.
I will enjoy only one weekly cup of habitat-destroying coffee and curtail consumption of vegan foods which have achieved mythical status in relation to their supposed ability to save the planet. Many vegan ingredients come from all over the world, often by air and have huge carbon footprints.
I will forgo endless home deliveries of fast food and items from Amazon which I can order at 8pm and will arrive next morning.
I recognise that many modern comforts will need to be scaled back or discarded, and I aspire to become part of the 19th century lifestyle whose lack of amenities I had previously viewed with incredulity. By our lead, I believe we in the advanced West can persuade those countries not cutting CO2 emissions to follow our example and accept lower living standards, a shorter life span, poorer health and a reduction in our ambitions.
I understand that that if the science is correct, after 20 years sticking to this Climate Pledge CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere will not have reduced from today’s level and that temperatures will not have dropped by any measurable amount. However, I remain willing to reduce my standard of living and that of my children and grandchildren to save the planet from one of the variations in climate which have happened regularly over the estimated 4.5billion years of its existence.