Thursday, 19 November 2009

My Climate Change "Action Plan"

Since it is becoming increasingly obvious that there will be no binding agreement in Copenhagen next month about how to achieve necessary greenhouse gas emission reductions, I thought I would propose my own binding climate change mitigation strategy. Why not, eh? Members of the so-called "developed" world seem to need a little direction in the matter, a little gentle urging perhaps. So here goes. By the way, I haven't decided if I'm joking or not.

Benign Dictator Theresa's "My Way or the Fry-way" Climate Change Action Plan
  • All international and national sporting competitions will cease immediately. That includes the Olympics. All that travel is totally unnecessary and wasteful. Everyone bike/walk to your local sporting venue instead and support your local kids competing out of a sense of fun, rather than a sense of 'when-will-I-get-that-Nike-endorsement' greed.
  • Politicians, business people, you are heretofore directed to use conference calls and webcams. All your jet-fueled travel is canceled. Your 'leadership' isn't helping anyway.
  • Tropical and other 'must-have' vacations, same goes: canceled. There's lots do see and do within walking/biking distance of where you live. And if you need that much distraction in your life you have bigger problems anyway.
  • The Las Vegas strip is closed until further notice. Same goes for all other similar locations worldwide. Way too much electricity used for no good reason. Not to mention setting a really, really bad example on so many levels. (November 27 addendum: Thanks Dubai, for getting right on that.)
  • Sorry race fans, NASCAR, Formula 1, etc., canceled. Those fossil fuels are needed for other things. Get a pedal bike or a canoe and race that.
  • Everyone will be vegetarian and like it, so there.
  • Every household will be required to have and tend a food-bearing vegetable garden. If you have no yard, a community garden plot within walking/biking distance will be found and/or reclaimed for you (i.e., uncovering the soil under now-unneeded parking lots, etc). Seeds and gardening implements will be provided. Gardening/Cooking/Preserving classes will be taught to young and old, in your local community by cool people like Sharon Astyk and her many minions.
  • Work weeks will heretofore be limited to 4 days out of 7.
  • Two days a week will be mandatory car-free days. You need to work in your garden, or volunteer, or take a Preserving class, or take a nap, or have some local fun on those days anyway.
  • Cheap plastic crap will no longer be manufactured or sold. If we're expending resources to manufacture things, those things will be useful and built to last.
  • Get ready for it: Oil sands operations will be reduced by 50% immediately. We will use natural gas as a primary fuel, rather than using it as part of the tarsands extraction process. No new coal-fired electricity plants and 50% of existing ones will be shut down. All nuclear plants will be shut down, effective immediately. The precautionary principle will be the guiding principle from now on, period. All subsidies to fossil fuel industries will be entirely re-directed to renewables, effective immediately. All buildings will be retrofitted with these cool solar panel shingles.
  • Carbon/Greenhouse gas emissions will be capped on a per capita basis, to ensure that the 350 ppm goal is reached in the next 10 years, or maybe 5 years, I haven't decided. The cap will be the same for everybody, regardless of geographical location, income, celebrity status, or political office. If this means you have to reduce your consumption down to 10% of what it is now, get used to it. Fair is fair. Compliance will be enforced by whatever nefarious means I deem suitable.
  • Oh, and no one has any more kids until all the kids around the world in orphanages or on the streets have been adopted. "Something" has been "put in the water" already.
Really, compared to that, would it be so difficult to get something together at Copenhagen? I am being generally facetious and sarcastic with (some) of these points, but come on! It doesn't take that much planning and it is not a hardship to cut down electricity consumption by half, and in our household we've managed to cut back to 35% of the North American average. I realize that is just a drop in the bucket, but instead of working to increase the number of drops in the bucket, my Canadian government is just throwing out excuses and downplaying expectations before the Copenhagen meeting. It's sickening. What passes for leadership these days is absolutely sickening.

Ok, time to make some ginger tea to reduce my nausea.

Does anyone have any 'dream clauses' you would like to add to this 'action plan'?

November 20th: Friendly Amendments. The following amendments have been suggested by commenters, and are hereby incorporated into the Action Plan . I am a benign dictator after all....
  • Hadv's amendment: The status quo is not good enough anymore. The time for change has come. Get used to it.
  • Sensible Vermonter's amendment: Renewable power retrofits will be fully subsidized up front. Power generated by these renewable sources will be sold back to the "grid" up until the subsidy is paid back, after which it will become a source of income for the homeowner.
  • Amber's amendment: Household composting is mandatory. A suitably sized composter will be provided to each household free of charge. Compost can be used by the homeowner or sold back to local compost exchange stations. Barter among neighbors is encouraged. Courses on regular and humanure composting will be offered alongside the Gardening/Cooking/Preserving courses noted above.
  • Theresa's afterthought amendment: In the spirit of re-localizing sporting and business events, all national and international travel for concerts, book tours, etc., will also be cancelled. Wherever you are, there are lots of talented local artists, authors, musicians and crafters who deserve your patronage.
Additional amendments and clauses remain welcome!

Fried landscape picture courtesy EcoWanderer


hadv said...

Everyone wants to change the 'climate change', but not their status quo. You have to make a law about that too. Btw, ginger tea with lemongrass is good. :D

Theresa said...

Good point hadv - any ideas how to word that?

Hm..lemongrass, that does sound tasty - thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hahahah oh I LOVE all your clauses! I don't know if I could survive without real chicken soup or a New England boiled dinner (the mandatory veg. part) but I like your thoughts!!

How about other things like energy/heat? What about, you have to contribute to the energy you use?? Like, investing in clean and local energy only? Buy local dairy only which provides more money to farmers and expands their heard so more methane "cow power" is generated to run your home? And the government is required to give away free money to those of us who want to make improvements to our homes to reduce energy consumption! :)

Chile said...

Here, here! All hail Dictator Theresa! :)

Amber said...

Hee hee! Now that's a dictatorship I could live with.

I would add a clause that requires everyone to compost, and no, not the big, clunky and inefficient municipal programs, I mean backyard or worm bin composting for all! (It would include humanure too.)

Liz said...

Heil, er I mean hi, oh great benign dictator. Well said. You made me smile and think.

Robj98168 said...

LOL Not Las Vegas, my beloved vacation land. Ok the last time I was there was four years ago. I make it about every 10 years. LOL on the thought of nascar boys racing bikes and canoes. SNICKER.

Lisa Sharp said...

The libertarian part of me (or maybe anarchist?) is not a big fan of rules, I often break them just to break them. ;) BUT I think the ideas that go more for big business are great. And you are right how hard would it be to come up with at least SOMETHING.

At least a lot of people are taking action but we need big business doing their part!

Theresa said...

Thanks everyone for your wonderful suggestions and kind words. I wouldn't really want to be a dictator, but it is fun to think about sometimes :)

I'm going to make some friendly amendments to the main text now, based on these suggestions...

Theresa said...

Hello Rob and Lisa - thanks for coming by and taking the time to comment! I hadn't seen that your comments weren't 'published' yet before I made my remarks above.

Rob - I figured I might touch a nerve with the NASCAR and Vegas things. I come from a stock-car racing family, so chances are I've stepped on some toes there - I will have to take my chances!

Lisa - you're right, the big businesses need to step up. Care to propose an amendment?

Olivia said...

Computers, cellphones, ipods, tv's, and all other electronic devices will be outlawed as they create some of the deadliest waste toxins on the planet - plus some of the stupidest and most time wasting activities. Instead of this, we shall all huddle around our fires - or solar panels or geothermal units - and talk to each other face to face as we roast nuts and roots or eat them raw.

The Rambling Taoist said...

I'm catching up on my reading and found this gem. All I want to know is which planet you're the benign dictator of so my wife & I can move there.

Theresa said...

Olivia - thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I have to agree that these devices waste both time and energy, and the visuals of kids pawing through shrapnel piles of motherboards, cell phone batteries, etc. are horrid. I know I could do a lot better myself in terms of my 'screen time' and overall gadget consumption.

TRT - hello and thank you for coming by and commenting! I really should step things up in my own life before 'dictating' like this, I know, but it is nice to imagine and wonder sometimes, what such radical changes would be like. I particularly like the shortened work week and and the no-car days!

Eco Yogini said...

Oh I read this and laughed- it was awesome. I meant to comment that very day...

Anyhoo, I agree, am a fan of your dictatorship- WOOT! I would support a Theresa-Alberta Take over if not the entire country.

Have you heard that Mr. Harper the terrible is actually GOING to coppenhagan afterall?? lol, it only took Obama and China to convince him that perhaps it was maybe important to go.... SIGH.

At least it is a step- we can be hopeful right? :) although I'm not holding my breath... said...

Hi Theresa,
You have my vote as Global Benign Dictator. Your plan would work. In fact, my plan works perfectly with your plan!


Canadian silver bug/Green Assassin Brigade said...

I'm willing to be your chief Ont minion, but you must realize I will be growing illegal rabbits and chickens ouf of my garage

Theresa said...

10in10 - hi and thanks for taking the time to comment! Our two 'plans' do merge well, don't they?

GAB - As long as you let your rabbits and chickens range freely in sufficient greenspace, I see no problems with that.

Hm..perhaps it is time to start a minion sign-up sheet?

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on everything except the vegetarian part. I do think animals are an important and even necessary part of sustainable farming. Their relationship with the grasses, their manure, etc are all important. We could just perhaps mandate that people raise their own meat or do so on a community farm type place (along the lines of your "everybody have a veggie garden" law). So I'd vote for you as dictator! :)

Theresa said...

Hi RA - nice to hear from you again :)

About the meat part, I just don't like that grains that could feed people are fed to animals instead, and then the meat can usually just be afforded by a small segment of the world's population. And the greenhouse gases produced by industrial agriculture are quite significant. Small scale, sustainable agriculture is a different story of course :)

Shqiptare Girl said...

I like all of this except for the Olympics. I mean c'mon. Im an athlete and i like to watch the worlds best athletes compete, expecially track and field.

All your other declarations i agree with. Expecially nascar and cheap plastic crap haha

Theresa said...

SG - I include the Olympics because of the immense travel involved and the fact that it has become a commercial, rather than a true sporting endeavor. For true sport, I like to watch things like the kids at my local elementary school play hockey on the outdoor rink :)