A recent wave of media coverage has driven home the message that 90+% of climate scientists now agree that global warming is a real and (mostly) man made threat to life on our planet. Now, most of us carry life insurance against the small chance that we will die this year, and property insurance on the very small chance that our home or property will be destroyed. The odds of these events are very small, but the impact catastrophic, so we carry insurance just in case. Today with 90% of the best-informed people on the planet agreeing that we are at serious risk, its time for some serious insurance.
The most practical way that we can “insure” against the risk to our atmosphere is through our personal lifestyle choices. According to the EPA, residential energy use accounts for 20% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and transportation accounts for 31% (the balance is commercial and industrial).
Improving efficiency even a little can make a meaningful difference. If you add up all the gaps, the average home as a 2’X2’ hole in it – easily fixed with a tube of caulk and some weather stripping. Changing the thermostat by just two degrees can save eight percent on heating or cooling energy use (and costs). Combining trips, carpooling, or public transportation can save transportation costs and the associated energy use. Everyone I know who has tried has found a cut of 10% in energy use can be achieved without any noticeable inconvenience. That would be 2.4 tons less greenhouse gas emissions each year, for every American household.
Taking proactive steps to insure a healthier planet. That’s living green.