We’re surrounded by tempting food options. It’s easy to over-indulge then hope for a magic bullet that would allow us to eat what we want yet stay trim. But for most of us there is no simple fix. Instead, a fundamental shift in our relationship with food and a modification in lifestyle is likely the key. Perhaps summed up as: Eat Less - Move More.
And what about energy use? Yikes! we’re over-eaters here too. With only 4.4% of the world’s population, Americans consume about 17% of the world’s energy. Of course, the U.S. is a highly developed, industrialized nation, so we’d expect to use more energy than some. But we tap into almost 1/5 of the world’s energy supply. Seems like a lot!
Most of this energy is generated from burning fossil fuels causing yet another case of over-indulgence. The global atmosphere’s “fighting weight” of CO2 has held fairly steady between 180 and 280 parts per million(ppm) for tens of thousands of years. Oh-oh! We’re currently at 415 ppm and rising. When we burn fossil fuels, carbon moves from the geosphere (below ground) to the biosphere (above ground). The long-established carbon cycle critical to Earth’s environment since the dawn of humankind is getting thrown significantly out of whack.
If only there were a cheap and easy “carbon-removal” magic bullet. Then we could continue with our current energy use system, and technology would conveniently solve the excess atmospheric CO2 issue. No such luck.
Carbon-capture technologies do exist, and they’re an important component for reducing atmospheric carbon. But what’s really needed is a fundamental shift in our relationship with energy. Perhaps that could be summed up as: Use Less; Embrace Transition.
Use Less – Each of us can be more mindful about our use of energy and find ways to reduce that use. Legislation such as the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, H.R. 763 would make doing so easier.
Embrace Transition – Fortunately, clean renewable energy is now often the low-cost leader. It’s time to embrace these new options to save money and clean the air.
There’s no time to lose because this is the only home we’ll ever know. It’s where we’re forever… Earthbound.