May 29, 2014 by John Crapper
A while back I purchased an I-pad. I love it. I’m not sure how I ever survived without it. I read a lot more. I social network a lot more. It has become an integral tool in my daily life.
But it takes energy to work. It increases my carbon footprint ever so slightly. But I won’t give it up. It’s one of the little things created in our modern world that I will not give up.
I care a lot about climate change. I spend a lot of my time researching the issue and trying to spread the word about its seriousness. But, when I’m honest with myself there are limits to what personal actions I’m willing to take to help mitigate it. Let me explain.
I spend a lot of time on my I-pad researching climate change. It is something I’m interested in. Then it dawned on me. Because of this new electronic tool, I now spend a lot more hours every day reading from an electronic device rather than turning the pages of a book. My reading activities now use electricity. There is hardly a day that passes that I don’t plug my I-Pad into the wall socket for a re-charge. Before it was invented the energy it takes to run it was not being used. But this device has become indispensable for me. I will not give it up to save energy. My wife on the other hand couldn’t care less about an I-pad. It is not on her list of indispensable items. She would have to problem if I-pads were not produced any more.
For me, the same is true of commercial flying. I’m not going to give up my travels. It is on my personal “I-Pad” list. I’m not willing to stop boarding flying gas tanks that whisk me away to the far corners of the planet in search of the exotic. Travel is in my blood and just too important regardless of the carbon implications. Other’s would find fault with this position and take the opposite view. They would have no trouble foregoing all of their travels for the cause. But that does not mean they don’t have their own “I-pads” that they refuse to part with.
We all have those indispensable devices and activities that we just can’t live without. We are not willing to give them up. I’m sure the private pilot would not entertain having to sacrifice his plane for the good of the climate. Too much of a sacrifice for him. It’s his very special “I-pad” and no one will convince him to give it up.
The landscaper, for example, will not go without his gas-powered weed eater. It is just too important to his livelihood.
The stock car racer would never stand for anyone taking away his racing machines. They are integral for his lifestyle.
The retired couple touring the USA in their gas guzzling recreational vehicle would never tolerate it being taken away. This has been their dream to travel the roads of America seeing the sights they have only dreamed about during their working days. It is their “I-Pad”.
Realizing that each of us walking the Earth have our personal “I-Pads” integral to our lives is an important first step when formulating plans to address the problem of climate change. I will not stand for my I-pad to be taken away. I would fight to prevent such a move. Each of us will do the same to defend our right to have our own personal “I-pads”. We view them as being integral to our way of life.
The same can be said of America in general. We live in a country that has a way of life. We view that way of life as being integral to maintaining our own personal one. There are things in our communal way of life that we consider our communal “I-pads”. We view them as being an integral part of the American experience. We do not want them taken away. We will resist, even fight those items being taken away from us.
I’m not sure of all the devices and activities that would be put on this communal list of must have items but I can mention a few with confidence. I don’t think we are willing to give up our personal cars. Not yet a least. I don’t think we are willing to sacrifice our TVs. I’m sure we would not tolerate our mobile phones and computers being taken away. Actually, I’m really having a hard time coming up with items we would be willing to put on the chopping block to reduce our lifestyle induced energy consumption. It is a real conundrum. Please help me out.
Would you be willing to give up eating meat? Would you be willing to close down fast food outlets? Would you be willing to rake the leaves in your yard instead of using your power blower? Would you be willing to put the electric screwdriver in mothballs and return to the manual one? Would you be willing to place your excrement on the curb for pickup once a week to conserve water and capture a valuable resource?
Holy Shitters believe that if we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit. Fooling ourselves into thinking we are willing to take actions that we are in actuality not willing to take is not helpful. Sometimes a reality based approach makes things really stink.
I’ve come to realize that my list of things I’m not willing to live without is much longer than the things I’m willing to give up. And I purport to care about climate change. Holy shit! Now that is an inconvenient truth.
Category Climate Change | Tags: capitalism, Climate Change, consumer diarrhea, Consumerism, economy, Environment, Holy Shit, holy shit moment, human nature, personal, psychology, Soft and Fluffy Consumerism, Super-consumerism, thinking