En del reagerte på det forrige innlegget jeg skrev, om at hvor alle gjør litt så oppnår vi også litt. Noen lurte på om jeg mente at jeg oppfordret til å ikke gjøre noen ting, og dessuten så er det sånn at alle monner drar... Som en oppføling til dette vil jeg nå dele utdrag fra kapitlet som heter Every BIG helps, som kanskje kan virke noe utdypende (og keep in mind: forrige innlegg var fra kapittel nummer 1 i boken Sustainable energy -without the hot air, mens dette er fra kapittel 19 – det er altså en god del informasjon og fakta i mellom disse to, sånn i tilfelle noe virker uklart...):
What are our options, if we wish to get off fossil fuels and live sustainably? We can balance the energy budget either by reducing demand, or by increasing supply, or, of course, by doing both.
Have no illusions. To achieve our goal of getting off fossil fuels, these reductions in demand and increases in supply must be big. Don’t be distracted by the myth that “every little helps”. If everyone does a little, we’ll achieve only a little. We must do a lot. What’s required are big changes in demand and supply.
“But surely, if 60 million people all do a little, it’ll add up to a lot?” No. This “if-everyone” multiplying machine is just a way of making something small sound big. The “if-everyone” multiplying machine churns out inspirational statements of the form “if everyone did X, then it would provide enough energy/water/gas to do Y”, where Y sounds impressive. Is it surprising that Y sounds big? Of course not. We got Y by multiplying X by the number of people involved – 60 million or so! Here’s an example from the Conservative Party’s otherwise straight-talking Blueprint for a Green Economy:
“The mobile phone charger averages around … 1 W consumption, but if every one of the country’s 25 million mobile phone chargers were left plugged in and switched on they would consume enough electricity (219 GWh) to power 66 000 homes for one year.”
66 000? Wow, that’s a lot of homes! Switch off the chargers! 66 000 sounds a lot, but the sensible thing to compare it with is the total number of homes that we’re imagining would participate in this feat of conservation, namely 25 million homes. 66 000 is just on quarter of one percent of 25 million. So while the statement quoted above is true, I think a calmer way to put it is:
If you leave your mobile phone charger plugged in, it uses one quarter of one percent of your home’s electricity.
And if everyone does it?
If everyone leaves their mobile phone charger plugged in, those chargers will use one quarter of one percent of their homes’ electricity.
The “if everyone” multiplying machine is a bad thing because it deflects people’s attention towards 25 million minnows instead of 25 million sharks. The mantra Little changes can make a big difference is bunkum, when applied to climate change and power (NB: ikke makt, men kraft/energy 😉 ). It may be true that “many people doing a little adds up to a lot”, if all those “littles” are somehow focused into a single “lot” – for example, if one million people donate $10 to one accident victim, then the victim receives $10 million. That’s a lot. But power is a very different thing. We all use power. So to achieve a “big difference” in total power consumption, you need almost everyone to make a “big” difference to their own power consumption.
So, what’s required are big changes in demand and supply. Demand for power can be reduced in three ways:
- By reducing the population
- By changing our lifestyle
- By keeping our lifestyle, but reducing its energy intensity through “efficiency” and “technology”
Supply could be increased in three ways:
- We could get off fossil fuels by investing in “clean coal” technology. Oops! Coal is a fossil fuel. Well, never mind – let’s take a look at this idea. If we used coal “sustainably”, how much power could it offer? If we don’t care about sustainability and just want “security of supply”, could coal offer that?
- We could invest in nuclear fission. Is current technology “sustainable”? Is it at least a stop-gap that might last 100 years?
- We could buy, beg, or steal renewable energy from other countries – bearing in mind that most countries will be in the same boat as Britain and will have no renewable energy to spare; and also bearing in mind that sourcing renewable energy from another country doesn’t magically shrink the renewable power facilities required. If we import renewable energy from other countries in order to avoid building renewable facilities the size of Wales in our country, someone
have to build facilities roughly the size of Wales in those other countries.
Som jeg har sagt tidligere, alle virkelig burde lese denne. Du trenger tall og fakta, ikke at du føler at du gjør masse – du må vite hvor mye du gjør som er positivt og hvor mye du gjør som er negativt. Spesielt hvis det positive du gjør, får deg til å gjøre noe negativt – som kanskje er veldig mye verre enn det du gjorde på pluss-siden...(typ, du føler du gjør mye fordi du alltid sorterer søppel, så hvor ille er det egentlig med den ferien til USA da - det må du vel kunne gjøre med god samvittighet, siden alltid er så flink til å sortere og gjenvinne, sant?)
Skal vi få til endring så hjelper det ikke med små tiltak. Vi må gjøre STORE ting.