Michael Pollan (whose books I have previously reviewed: 1, 2), has an article in the New York Times about climate change. Essentially, the piece is about the need to change lifestyles in a way that goes far beyond making a few trivial gestures and waiting for technology to save us:
Hereâ€™s the point: Cheap energy, which gives us climate change, fosters precisely the mentality that makes dealing with climate change in our own lives seem impossibly difficult. Specialists ourselves, we can no longer imagine anyone but an expert, or anything but a new technology or law, solving our problems. Al Gore asks us to change the light bulbs because he probably canâ€™t imagine us doing anything much more challenging, like, say, growing some portion of our own food. We canâ€™t imagine it, either, which is probably why we prefer to cross our fingers and talk about the promise of ethanol and nuclear power â€” new liquids and electrons to power the same old cars and houses and lives.
It is refreshing to see someone else getting the big picture and accepting the reality that global emissions absolutely need to peak in the next 10-15 years, if we are not to live in a world transformed.
The whole article is well worth reading, though Pollan’s argument that growing a vegetable garden can significantly change a person’s outlook doesn’t strike me as hugely plausible. That said, it is not something I have ever tried.