The Copenhagen Climate Summit has arrived. World leaders are talking about climate change. What are they talking about? We’ll hear some of the details, since they’ll be splashed all over the news. Many of the discussions will be play-by-play accounts of who signed what and who said what to whom. Gory details about how long Obama stays at the conference and who storms out. Details about protests and concerns about a climate change hoax.
Then there are the other discussions, the ones we’ll never hear about. Is Canada really going to buck up and crack down on greenhouse gas emissions? Should we ask developing countries to move on their greenhouse gas emissions, or is that unfair? What about using the soil as a carbon sink? Are cow toots really a dangerous source of methane?
That last one was mine. But honestly, there is a lot of discussion about climate change out there, and much of it will never make it into our living rooms unless we ask it to do so. We can feel pushed and pulled and downright incapacitated by all of the discussion, fear, and the coming regulations that may or may not make sense to the average person. So this December, I am asking. I’m holding a mini-climate summit that involves only three people, me, my husband, and my daughter. We’re doing some talking, and we’re committing to actions that will have an impact on our own greenhouse gas emissions.
What have we discussed so far? Well, we eat very locally, so we’re fairly good on that account. And I am not giving up chocolate, so that is not on the table. In the last few years, we’ve also steadily decreased our use of natural gas every month. We combine trips and use public transit a lot. We could do a little better on that account, though.
We’ve placed LED lights on our Christmas list.
We’re going to continue our adventures in composting and reduce the gases released when our food waste goes to the dump to get burned or buried. We’re looking into a Nature Mill composter as a possible next step, since our large backyard composter is not officially allowed in our townhouse complex.
We’re going to get my husband to pick up our daughter on the evenings when I work, reducing the trips that her grandparents need to make to return her to our home.
I’m going to refuse to use the extra car that we have access to, making it available to use only one day a week.
I’m seriously debating doing The Compact, at least for the first two months of 2010. This involves buying used materials to avoid the waste and emissions produced when we buy new. Since we already buy almost entirely used, this shouldn’t be too hard, and it will get us to question our consumption patterns.
So families across the nations, I urge you to take part in a mini climate summit of your own. What negotiations take place are entirely up to you. The world awaits your results.