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I finally saw the movie “No impact man”. It was one of those situations when you don’t know if you should laugh out loud or cry in despair. The part that bugged me the most was his giving up electric power. Has the guy never heard that nowadays one can have green electricity – electricity from renewable sources (hydroelectric, wind, solar, etc.) – and so cause zero carbon emissions? Wouldn’t it be better to do so and teach a lot of people how to reduce emissions without giving up on comfort? At least when he reconnected the power supply at the end of the movie, wouldn’t it be the right time to say so? “I have power again but from renewable sources – you could do the same!”

With electricity he would be able to cook using clean electricity, instead of burning methane gas and producing a lot emissions as he did the whole year – he never mentioned his cooking, did he? Keeping a dog produces about the same amount of carbon emissions as driving a small car. Why didn’t he deal with that either? No impact? Is he kidding us or just himself?

As I said before, we have reached a stage on climate change and general environmental destruction when it is not possible anymore to rely on a few people doing all the right things. It’s much better to have the great majority of people doing a few right things.

If someone living in the US reduces his/her carbon footprint to zero (which I don’t believe to be possible, by the way, no impact is a joke), he or she is only reducing 23 tons of carbon emissions. If everyone living in America reduces only one ton of carbon, which is very easy to do, we have a total reduction of 310 million tons!

We must convince people to become more environmental friendly in a positive and – I dare say – fun way. Telling people to live in the dark and stop using toilet paper won’t get us very far...

There are a lot of things one can do to reduce his/her carbon footprint. Some involve spending money like changing the light bulbs, buying energy-efficient electrical appliances, upgrading the house insulation, paying a little bit more for green electricity, getting a more fuel-efficient car etc.

Others involve changing habits, which can be much more difficult. Changing your diet and eating less meat and more vegetables can be hard, for example, but it is possible and it is even a healthy thing to do. Just ask your doctor! Driving less and using a bike or even walking short distances will also do wonders to your body. Again, ask your doctor. Eating local and seasonal products isn’t that hard to do, either.

Reducing carbon emissions in most cases reduces expenditures and improves your health! You do not only help to save the planet but also feel much better and save a lot of money along the way. It’s a no-brainer, right? Why then do some green activists keep repeating the same mantra of Calvinist self-flagellation: “no meat, no electricity, no heating, no cars, no shopping, and no fun?”

Why can’t these activists see that they only turn people off and don’t accomplish anything at all? In other words they have “no impact” on people and don’t bring any change.

Could it be that they can’t they see these simple facts because they are living in the dark, after having turned off the lights to save carbon emissions?


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