Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What would you give up?

“OK,” you say, “Now you’ve finally converted into a standard left-wing enviro-terrorist blog bent on denying hard-working Americans the creature comforts to which we have become accustomed. I knew it would happen sooner or later!” Not so fast—this isn’t the typical rant against the Consumerism we have come to see as our God-Given right. In this post, I will attempt to consider a very difficult question posed to me by a well-meaning friend, and, with some help from you, maybe we can come with some ideas, if not answers to this question.

The question (paraphrased) was this. “If typical first world per capita energy consumption is more than 30 times third world per capita consumption, what are you, my good green friend, willing to give up to create a world capable of sustaining human life in the long term?” His point was this: We can all install compact fluorescent lights and drive Priuses (Prii?!), but we will never get where we want to go without a major change in lifestyle.

This set me to thinking. What would I give up? What would my family give up? Do we really have to give things up to create a sustainable model? Here are a few ideas I have:

1) I would be willing to give some or all of the electrical appliances in my house including the coveted dishwasher, in favor of manual alternatives.

2) I would be willing to get rid of one gas only car and get an all electric vehicle for local trips and errands.

3) I would be willing to pay an additional 10% tax on gasoline as long as it was coupled with a windfall profit tax on petroleum companies and the money was invested in an Apollo project aimed at making sustainable energy the foundation of our national energy usage by 2020.

What would you be willing to do? What ideas do you have?


Frugal Nut said...

I would be willing to give up electricity for heat in lieu of warmer clothing, layers, and close friends. I don't see the need for it, it's just convenience, like so many things these days.

I think I could also give up appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers, much like you, because it is more meaningful to do it manually.

Great post!

framebyframe said...

You said it! Small changes done on a mass scale are a great place to start.