Sunday, August 26, 2007

Climate change a chance to reconsider what is important in life

Not a day goes by without more dire warnings about our climate and what we need to do to stop global warming from destroying the very foundations of our environment.

The really big picture items have to come from governments and industry - improve energy efficiency, reduce energy consumption, change our energy mix from our current reliance on carbon-intensive resources such as coal and oil to greenhouse friendlier resource such as natural gas and ultimately to greenhouse neutral renewable energy, improve public transport, reduce air travel and implement policies to reward carbon neutral behaviour. However, governments will only take the necessary steps if we, the people, make them do so.

There are also things we can do in our every day lives. Every decision we make impacts on our environment. If we consume less, grow our own food, travel more lightly and spend more time with family and friends, we will not only save our planet, we can also reduce our cost of living and we are likely to be much happier as a result.

Research into the foundations of happiness shows again and again that our material possessions do not make us happy at all. We are all chasing the wrong dream. Only if we can turn around our obsession with endless growth based on more and more consumption, and instead focus on living in harmony with our environment, can we really get governments to be brave enough to make the hard decisions we have to make to give our kids a future.

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