Climate talks set expectations high

December 3, 2015


It would be easy to be skeptical of the climate talks underway in Paris given past experience. It might also be too easy as a Canadian to set our expectations too high and think everything will be sorted out for us.  I admit this is a nice feeling for a change but sadly not realistic.

As Canadians, we use fossil fuels for about 74% of our energy needs.  That’s a lot of carbon.

We use carbon to run our homes.  We use carbon going to work.  We use someone else’s carbon when we buy a product or service. We use carbon to run our businesses.  We make decisions every day that come with a carbon cost.

Yet, our carbon use is invisible to us.  That will have to be part of the solution – making visible the invisible.

Yet, seeing it won’t be enough. What do you do with the information? There are many ways to take carbon out of our lives but as a colleague of mine says – we are not lacking for solutions, we just love our status quo too much.

I have read that one of the reasons that we might be accumulating such high levels of personal debt is that we have disconnected costs from rewards.  When we paid cash for a new sweater, the reward and the payment were immediate.  Today, the payment is buried in a credit card or bank statement a month later.  In contrast, I think this is why I like my Community Shared Agriculture experience so much in addition to the great locally-grown food.  I pay up front and the rewards keeping coming all season.

Maybe Jane McGonigal is right and a few of gamers who have spent like a billion hours playing World of Warcraft will find a way to make climate change action an epic win.

Photo credit: Medical Office Careers