2020 will be the first year that humanity has reduce their carbon footprint by the amount needed per year to reach the goal of no more than 1.5°C rise in temperature by 2020 - a key goal of the Paris Climate Agreement. According to the UN, we need to reduce CO2 emmissions by 7.6% yearly through 2030 to be on track. With the Covid shutdown, the world is expected to be down about 7%... but bounce back post-Covid.
With the US likely to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, there will finally be a world-wide consensus that the carbon emissions must be reduced (note: something I strongly agree).
There are two primary ways we can meet the emission reduction targets; create more renewable energy or consume less. While the rate of new renewable energy has increased recently, it still is only a few percent of total energy needs and unlikely to play a meaningful roll anytime soon (see 2nd chart below). As far as per-capita energy use, Americans consume about twice that of Europeans and Chinese (see 1st chart)... and that doesn't take into consideration that much of what Americans buys is made overseas. Since almost every product or service consumed ultimately requires energy to produce, making meaningful reduction in emissions will require meaningful reductions in consumption.
Are you prepared to change your lifestyle to help make this happen?
I keep my house in winter at a toasty 63 degrees, use propane so l need no humidifier. Have no air-conditioner or dishwasher, wash full loads on Cold, dry on Low. Recycle religiously, only had one child, very small house, repair my clothes as needed, then "downsize" them to yard work/painting clothes, have flown once in the last 20+ years, keep my cars until they go over 250,000 miles. Hard to know what I could do more...dry outside 6 months of the year, I suppose...but onlydo 2-3 loads a week. Been doing all the above for around 30 years (my town was one of the first in the country to recycle, we hosted mayors from allover for Years)
We need to really understand the problem and design good solutions. Electric cars sound great, but if the power comes from a cal burning plant, not so much.
We need to make green (ecology) green (financially) incentivize as well as regulate.
Get politics out of the solution
We need to understand that in order to succeed, we need to change
If I cut back any more I'd have to turn inside out. I made no children. I don't fly or go anywhere. I wear my clothes until they're rags, then wear them some more. I eat very little beef and would be happy to eat none, and have done exactly that for years in the past. I live in a two room house that's a hundred years old. I grow much of my own food.
But I don't do any of this out of a sense of obligation to save the planet.
It's just always been how I prefer to live. Less is more.
I eat far less beef than the average Nebraskan. I lean hard towards vegetarian. My house is pretty small as it is. It could be smaller, for me there is lots of wasted space, but I'm not willing to move again unless there is a really good reason. I haven't flown in several years, and have no plans to go anywhere for a while. As for fewer children... yeah, I don't plan to ever have more, but the ones I gave birth to are reproducing and that is out of my control. I'd like to have solar panels on my roof, but right now that is not an option. I avoid plastics whenever possible, but lots of places are not allowing you to bring in your own bags right now, so that option has dwindled. I grow at least some of my own food, and I'm careful about the temperature I keep my house. I recycle what I can and reuse what I can. I have an on demand water heater, which I love. My car is 13 years old, it will have to be replaced sooner or later. WFH has been great to reduce automobile use, I'm loving that. I don't buy much clothing, again WFH I can get by with yoga pants and T shirts. Why did I resist WFH? Now fabric... that I buy; all cotton though, which is better for the planet than polyesters are.
I've already done quite a bit for more than a decade now, but the key, in my opinion, is end preaching at people, and use policy to penalize the polluting activity and reward the switch to non-polluting activity (i.e.: tax the polluting activity and compel offenders to clean up). Once this happens, it will be much easier for all of us to get the price signals we need to modify our behavior. I think to preach at people (as this poll inherently does, and which most people do when they engage in activism on the climate emergency) and imply that the way to go here is global entirely voluntary action, without the key tool of taxes, misses the point. In some ways it makes matters worse and, in my view, plays into the hands of those who would obstruct action on climate change..... they have for many decades now successfully been manipulating the conversations to avoid financial penalization of the deadly polluting behavior.
Push for such things as population stabilization (have been doing this for 26 years). Cutting water usage, eating organic and as much local as possible. There are many other things one can do but each child a person has will double their footprint. The energy usage chart looks very much like the population 'J' curve. Technology will not save us from ourselves and 'sustainable growth is an oxymoron.' All our emphasis on 'diversity' (meaning human cultural) leads to what we have right now, polarization. We need bio-diversity not more humans.
I voted number of children even though global warming is near the bottom on the list of reasons I never want a child.
You really ought to have the reason, "doesn't matter because we're already past the point of no return" on the list. The statistic that the amount of oil that has already been bought but not yet consumed is more than enough to push us past the point climate scientists agree is the point of no return has been quoted a lot. Even if we tried to not use the oil that was paid for (which none of those greedy fucks are going to be willing to take the loss on that) the carbon emissions from the production of the replacements would be just as damaging (see Adam Connover's explanation from his going green episode). I truly believe that the greed and selfishness of humans is such that the only hope is a currently-non-existent method of eliminating carbon from our atmosphere.
That, coupled with the fact that the last 4 years Trump let companies pollute with impunity making my attempt to reduce my carbon emissions akin to having a non-peeing section of a pool, and the fact that most places don't even recycle your recyclables anymore, makes me not give any fucks anymore. I'm going to drive my 8mpg 600hp Cobra, eat delicious burping cows, and throw all my refuse directly into the trash. And anyone that has even one kid can go fuck themselves if they want to complain about my carbon footprint, because it's still smaller than theirs by a factor of probably 10.
I have been living a less than most everyone I know CF!!!
I average less than 35 driven miles a month!!!
Have cut my electrical use to an average of 650 KW a month!!!
Reuse and recycle most things I use, repurpose, and re use packaging materials over and over!!!
Use cold water for washing dishes and cloths have done this for over forty years!!!
Downsized to a one bedroom, one bath years ago!!!
Have not flown since 2016!!!
Limited and stop factory raise meats use!!!
Most of these methods, reuses, and practices I used long before it was fashionable or even acceptable!!!
I think the world has hit the point of no return. I don't think we can't turn this around in time to avoid substantial sea level rise in the future. That said, I think about this stuff. I keep my lights off when I can, try not to waste hot water, am looking towards an electric car, etc.
Having retired , I no longer have that drive to go to work , and even doing marketing is mostly a matter of scootering over to Walmart , not using my van . Even when I do drive , most of what I go to , is within five miles of my home . Last time I flew , was to go to Mom's funeral over three years ago . I've had all the windows and doors replaced , to make home more weather proof . I've planted trees to replace every one I had to remove and then some extras , because I like having them , in spite of my neighbors telling me to chop them down . I do what I can .
Cutting Completely and Reducing are 2 different things...
I can Reduce Flying, but I don't fly that much anyway. I do have"Travel the World" Plans that, If not for Flying, would probably have to go by Boat(Which also leaves a Carbon footprint). We would have to look at that to Reduce emissions on those 2 things
Driving/Car Buying can be Reduced by Riding a Bike for Close Range, Carpooling for Long Range. Other than Work, I do that Already. Would Electric cars help? If so, there has to be a Reasonable price to get one, Otherwise, Not many people would buy into that.
House Heating/AC is something I can't give up. I live in TX, August is our Hottest month. AC is needed during Summer Months, my fan doesn't do much when it's 95°F+. Cold is a Different Story, I got Portable Heaters to Replace.
I don't Buy that many Clothes. I'm pretty Content with what I have...
I can Reduce Hot Water. I'm actually getting used to Using more Luke Warm and Cold Water. I like the Benefits to that so...
House Size isn't much of a problem for me. I'm looking to Move out and into my own house, but the Size of it is the Least to Worry about for me.
I do want kids in my future, but I'm not one of those guys that Fucks around(Excuse my Language) I'm a One woman man that doesn't want a lot of Kids.
I don't eat that much Beef anymore. I'm trying Eat better anyway, So I've been working on that... Even if I do it's from a Fast Food Chain and I have this "Everyone gets to Eat" Rule now where If I eat Fast Food, I donate to Charity.
I'm Recycling more Now than ever and I want to Plant More Trees also, So I'm on it...
I don't think it's a Dumb Question. Could've said "Reduce" rather than "Cut". It's a Process either way and just Straight up Cutting from the Jump isn't something Human beings are willing to do...
I already don't fly, drive little (2000 mpy), heat little (keep my home at 69), rarely buy clothes (maybe a few things once a year), rarely eat beef (once or twice a month), my children (2) are grown and I'm too old to have more and I live in an apt that is less than 500sqft. I also R/R/R, reduce, recycle and reuse. I think I do enough already.