Two Quaker Monthly Meetings in California (Pacific Yearly Meeting) will be looking at a proposal to commit to reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions by 10% in the coming year. What will it take?
For people who fly, one tenth of the miles (or more) shifted to mass transit. For people who drive, some combination of driving less, driving more efficiently (a car with higher fuel economy, no more than 55 mph, etc), driving with others rather than alone. In the house, most people can cut back 10% easily by switching to more efficient light bulbs, replacing old appliances if not efficient with new ones, turning off the computer if you wonâ€™t be using it for a while, heating and lighting only rooms you are in. During the California electric crisis, we cut back 10% on electric use â€“ when interviewed for local TV, everyone said, â€œI didnâ€™t do anything really, justâ€¦â€
Caveat: there will be a major improvement in energy efficiency soon, due to California’s new regulations. For example, vampire power — the energy sucked up by electronics and appliances not being used — will be more carefully regulated in coming years. For many microwave ovens, more electricity is consumed by the clock and keypad than by the oven!
For the first year of changing our behavior, it may make sense to ignore greenhouse gas emissions from mass transit, and concentrate on reducing use of the car, airplane, and motorized boats.
Comments? Is this a good goal for the first year, impossible goal?