What about greenhouse cases?

Look about your home. What are you going to give up so Canada meets its greenhouse gas commitments?
If you are like me, you didn’t think much about the 11-day talkathon in Kyoto, Japan. I knew there was a controversy. Eminent scientists said global warming will melt the polar ice caps and turn Thunder Bay into Miami.
Other equally eminent scientists said nonsense.
Then it became a political problem. Most political palaver is unfathomable.
Yesterday I read what James Daw had to say. He’s a newspaper columnist.
I always thought the greenhouse gas sinners were manufacturers, coal-fired power plants, and exhaust-belching semis. They are but so is your home and mine. Daw says we account for 27 percent of the problem.
That’s not the only problem you and I have. Canada’s commitment is a target of six percent lower than the 1990 emissions. That has to be achieved by 2012.
By that time, there will be 10 million more Canadians. That means far lower emissions per capita than six percent. It’s 65 percent!
For many households, energy consumption has increased by about 20 percent since 1990. Appliances, entertainment centres, fans, lighting all add up when government wants us to subtract.
It’s not going to be easy for you and me to get Canada to six percent lower than 1990.
Back to my first question: what will you cut?
Forget about that new half-ton or sports utility van. They generate more harmful gases than cars. Auto makers will have more efficient and less polluting vehicles. To do that will require big investments.
You know who pays for that! We do!
Imagine on one of those bright, sunny, minus -30 January days when it’s better to be inside than out. Will you drop your heating by 65 percent?
Then comes one of those snow dumps. When you look out the window all you see is a lump where your car was last night. Lucky you, you have your snow blower. Not if you’re going to help Canada meet its commitments.
How would you like your potatoes boiled for only eight minutes? Al dente! Everyone will have to give up steak or develop a taste for extremely rare.
Here’s an interesting choice: turn your lights on for 35 percent of the time or put 35 percent of the brightness into your light bulbs.
By 2012, about half the “Boomers” will re retired. Will they putter around the house or yard? If so, no need for a macho car and maybe no car at all because of no commuting. No need to dress for work? (does anyone do that anymore?)
Fewer clothes and less laundry mean their energy demand will be lower. But 65 percent lower?
Look at your Christmas tree lights. What will it look like with 65 percent fewer bulbs? The annual tour around town to see the decorations will have to be by bicycle.
And there will be 65 percent fewer lights in the displays.
If you burn wood to help with heating, don’t think you are home free. The government pollution police will get you for all that smoke that goes up the chimney, and the fuel used to cut and haul wood to your house.
Just between the two of us, I enjoy the balmy December weather this year. Snow shovelling isn’t my favourite winter sport.
There’s a lot to be said for global warming when faced with a January ice fog. I hope the scientists who say “nonsense” to the threat of global warming are only partly right.
Besides, who wants potatoes el dente.
Cliff McIntosh is a futurist, organization effectiveness advisor, author, and president of Quetico Centre.

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