Thousands of environmental activists and politicians are descending on New York City in the coming days for rallies and a major summit. Almost certainly, they will use oil, natural gas and/or coal to get there.
The big picture: That's the classic hypocrisy charge — you're a hypocrite for advocating on climate change while using fossil fuels. Such arguments are increasing, so it's worth exploring the concrete steps people can actually take in a warming world.
Driving the news: "Flight shaming” is near the top of the list. Jet-fueled airplanes account for just 2% of global carbon dioxide emissions, but on a per-ton basis, it’s one of the most carbon-intensive activities individuals can choose.
Between the lines: Since we all somehow use fossil fuels and carbon-free replacements are still the exception (for now), charges of hypocrisy would have to apply to pretty much all of us, thus diluting the whole point.
But, but, but: This concept is increasingly part of our debate, so it’s got me thinking about tangents that are more actionable...
- To what degree are people willing to take concrete steps to lower their lifestyle’s impact on climate change — and why some people are not.
- How much do we passively depend on fossil fuels and the products that come from them, namely plastic.
What’s next: I’ll be occasionally writing columns tackling these topics going forward.
What I’m hearing: A big reason I’m pursuing these angles is because I regularly hear from readers asking what they can do to address climate change. Or sometimes they ask me about my carbon footprint.
So, what do you do to reduce the climate impact of your lifestyle? Or conversely, why don’t you take such steps? There are no right or wrong answers, just your insights. Email me at email@example.com.