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Something to do right now

A rather but understandably dyspeptic post from the Archdruid:

With that in mind, dear reader, I’d like to ask you to do something right now, before going on to the paragraph after this one. If you’re in the temperate or subarctic regions of the northern hemisphere, and you’re someplace where you can adjust the temperature, get up and go turn the thermostat down three degrees; if that makes the place too chilly for your tastes, take another moment or two to put on a sweater. If you’re in a different place or a different situation, do something else simple to decrease the amount of energy you’re using at this moment. Go ahead, do it now; I’ll wait for you here.

Have you done it? If so, you’ve just accomplished something that all the apocalyptic fantasies, internet debates, and protest marches of the last two decades haven’t: you’ve decreased, by however little, the amount of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere. That sweater, or rather the act of putting it on instead of turning up the heat, has also made you just a little less dependent on fossil fuels. In both cases, to be sure, the change you’ve made is very small, but a small change is better than no change at all—and a small change that can be repeated, expanded, and turned into a stepping stone on the way to bigger changes, is infinitely better than any amount of grand plans and words and handwaving that never quite manage to accomplish anything in the real world.

I would be saving wood, but the point is exactly the same. And I do need to stretch the pile....

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reslez's picture
Submitted by reslez on

Given that we run the thermostat at 58 degrees here at home and I'm already decked out in pajamas, full length terry robe, "typing gloves", slippers and blanket, I am going to abstain from turning my thermostat down again. I think most people correctly perceive that their individual efforts to conserve energy are mostly futile; any energy unused by them is simply funneled into the black maw of industrial civilization. There is no "conserve" in that equation.

Given how much the working class has suffered in this economy, asking them to suffer more voluntarily seems a little bit gauche. Of course, I know Druid has the best of intentions.

I'm hopeful that Druid will ask his southern readers to turn their A/C thermostats up by 3 degrees this summer. I know he personally abstains from air conditioning. In the meantime I will try to squeeze some blood into my fingers.