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Significance and sense of citizenship

How wide is the gap between today's way of life and sustainability?

It seems very important to keep the sense of proportions and significance when fighting against climate change. No solution will be found as long as we don't emphasize in public discourse major imperatives instead of small measures.
First, let's get out of what we could call "the drop's syndrome." (like " oh, no it's only a drop in an ocean ")  You cannot claim that any personal effort to strongly reduce your GHG emissions doesn't make any sense. If you just think dividing your energy consumption by two or more is insignificant because it only has a small effect on the whole problem, then don't go voting either! Not doing anything is denying the problem and you being part of it. Even being a small part of climate change makes you all the same responsible towards your fellow citizens. 

Once you have admitted that your individual footprint don't make a difference in quantity but a big difference ethically, you still need to make the right choice in your actions. Get rid of what I call "the light bulb syndrome". Can we save the planet if every one changes their light bulbs? The light bulb syndrome consists of ignoring what is really significant. Even most consciousness-raising campaigns make the mistake by saying: "There are no little gestures for the planet when 60 000 000 people make them." Can we really believe that insignificance at individual scale has a significant impact at a global level? This is losing sense of proportions. It means that we have to know what strong action really is.

What can we conclude?

We should be aware that we tend to discharge ourselves in both cases. The fairest attitude which is not in our civic culture is to ask everyone for a significant effort (even if it is progressive). But apart from exemplarity, that would not work on a large scale, what can citizens do? 

Changing our habits

1.   Support the implementation of economic instruments able to curve our collective and personal consumption: taxes on fossil fuels are on the top of the agenda to reach that target. As we will try to show you, the carbon tax is everything but the result of a restricted political or ideological approach, and it is potentially an efficient tool for public action. It was not invented yesterday, and most economists are in favour of it. (including many of the most famous ones) We will tell you why.

2.  Considering our own emissions, making effective changes in our consumer habits.

So, for anyone understanding the imperative need of strong action, two levels of action are possible. Influencing public opinion and acting individually (AND significantly)

 

M.Thomas.