Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What Is Your Energy Footprint?

While I do not think that individual action is the solution to the burgeoning environmental and social problems, we certainly ought to practice what we preach. I have always thought that if people in the developed world lived the counter-culture life style the problem would be minimal. Now I have some proof for my claim. The average Canadian uses the equivalent – if everyone in the world lived this same way – of 5.68 Earths worth of energy, agricultural land etc. Your typical 3 car garage, McMansion suburbanite uses 7.75 Earths. Turns out my score is 1.02 Earths.

My low score shows how untrue the right-wing claim is that living an enviro-friendly way requires us to live in poverty. I have everything I need and eat better and live better than people with twice my income. I have not cut out the necessities, but only the unnecessary – the excess. Much, if not most of people's excess is pretense anyway and has nothing to do with need. Few people, other than those with a lot of children or a vast extended family need a 4000 sq. foot house. People buy these barns because it makes them think they are important, instead of the suckers they really are. A near-new sweater from Value Village looks just as good and is just as warm as one bought new from an expensive boutique.

Take the test yourself at http://www.myfootprint.org/


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