Monday, August 11, 2008

Unclear On The Concept

Up until recently, Canada was committed to the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change. We had promised to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to six percent below our 1990 levels. Instead, we are 25 percent above those levels with little hope of reaching them in the near future.

Part of our national plan was the voluntary One-Tonne Challenge which urged each citizen to change his daily habits in order to effect a one metric tonne reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Now that program has been scrapped.

The One-Tonne Challenge was a great idea. I suspect it failed primarily because many Canadians were simply unclear on the concept. For example, the following do not count towards your personal emissions reduction goal:

* Putting a spoiler on your sit-down mower.
* Taking the van instead of the SUV to the corner store.
* Barbecuing indoors.
* Mixing ten percent ethanol with your morning orange juice.
* Installing an outdoor, solar-powered, battery-operated thermometer.
* Talking on the phone and/or putting on makeup while driving.
* Rolling stops at intersections to save on brakes.
* Using your electric can opener during off-peak hours.
* Drying your clothes outdoors on an electrically-powered rotating clothes line.
* Turning the air conditioner in your garage up one degree.
* Putting a muffler on your leaf blower.

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