Dan Paluska

The Climate Crisis and Self Awareness
November 16, 2008, 10:57 pm
Filed under: talk | Tags: , , , , , ,

Speaking of TOTC, let’s talk about the environment.

A couple weeks ago my friend Saul Griffith was in Boston for some meetings and to give a couple lectures. He showed up at my place with a folding bicycle and a suitcase bicycle trailer. He had brought them on the plan with him from San Francisco. Saul works on environmental issues so it’s important for him to walk the walk if he is going to talk the talk. He doesn’t even like to fly but he realizes he has to sometimes. Given that, he minimizes the impact by making sure he doesn’t need to rent a car when he arrives. He bikes everywhere. He documents all his energy consumption in extreme detail. He is working on self-awareness.

You can watch Saul’s talk here. You can also check Wattzon. Wattzon is a personal carbon contribution calculator. It is more detailed that carbonfootprint.com and others I have seen. What Saul has done in his talk and what he is trying to do with Wattzon is provide a literacy and a self-awareness. How do you judge the impact of your car versus your cup of coffee? Everyone talks about compact flourescent lightbulbs but are they really that much better? What if I sold my car instead, how much better would that be? Wattzon gives you a nice pie chart to show you how the different behavoirs of your life add up to your carbon contribution. It also attempts to place more direct costs on small items like a shirt or cup of coffee. The idea is to raise awareness and give people the tools they need to make decisions everyday. I can’t say it’s fixed all my problems yet but it makes me glad that I sold my car. Next step is that I need to buy a bike trailer so I can get to music gigs without a car. Anyone have a recommendation?