Q.Why should I feel guilty for flying abroad for vacation or having a child when 100 companies are responsible for 71 percent of CO2 emissions? And how do I hold those companies responsible for climate change when every facet of our political system benefits them?
A. Have you ever heard the credo “every day, once a day, give yourself a present?” It comes from Agent Dale Cooper in Twin Peaks, and personally, I live by it. In response to your question, I propose a slight modification: Every day, once a day, give your future self a present … by doing something to counteract climate change. Certainly less catchy, but a more noble motto nonetheless.
But you correctly point out that living that motto often seems like an exercise in futility (unless you happen to be the CEO of a major gas conglomerate)! The 100 companies that are responsible for 71 percent of emissions are the biggest fossil fuel producers in the world. The best thing that you can do to fight climate change and hold those companies responsible is to take revenge by jumping into, not out of, the climate action game. It’s truly a win-win. Bear with me.
The idea of working against a fossil-fueled lifestyle isn’t a small decision. The everyday things that are tied to fossil fuels in some way are … well … very numerous. Anything made with plastic, anything using a combustion engine, and, if you live in most parts of the world, anything that uses electricity. Hmm. This is looking like a very ascetic and, dare I say, rather untenable, life.
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