Sunday, October 5, 2008

Individuals Make the Difference

In an article in the Wall Street Journal (Via City Fix), it seems as if Americans control their Carbon Destiny.
U.S. consumers have direct or indirect control over 65% of the country's greenhouse-gas emissions, according to new statistics tallied by consultant McKinsey & Co. The figure for consumers in the rest of the world is just 43%. Americans, largely because of how they drive and how they build and use their homes and offices, lead some of the most energy-intensive lives in the world.
It's not just how they drive and build, it's where. The placement is the greatest determinant. Driving cars a long distance to work and the store versus walking can make a difference.
Passenger cars account for 17% of U.S. emissions -- something consumers could affect by driving more-efficient cars or by driving less. Residential buildings and appliances contribute another 17% of emissions, underscoring the impact consumers could have if they lived in smaller buildings, or added more insulation, or bought a more energy-efficient model next time they replaced their washing machine.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Individuals do make a difference. I, for instance, take the bus to work everyday and use my bike to take me almost everywhere else: grocery store, recycling, the mall. In fact, I would take my bike anywhere around 5 miles that I don't have to wear a suit.

Not anymore.

I was rear-ended at about 40 miles an hour on my bike by a merging driver that did not take the time to look in front of him in the traffic lane, only looking behind behind. As a result, I don't believe I will ever be able to muster the nerve to get on that bike away from a bike path, which are non-existent within 5 miles of my apartment.

The impact of that driver's inattentiveness will be manifest out of the tailpipe of my car for years to come.