Op-Ed: How To Become A Climate Leader Yourself, After Paris

JUN 8 2017 BY SEBASTIAN BLANCO 1

While many strong and negative things have been said about Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris, from simple bad judgment to an “international disgrace.” The good news, if you agree that stepping back from the global climate change agreement is a bad idea, is that there are still plenty of ways to work towards limiting the amount of CO2 in the air, just as the Paris agreement was intended to do.

The first place to look if you want to support a car company that believes in the Paris deal is We Are Still In. Launched this week in response to Trump’s decision, this is website for “companies, investors, mayors and governors” as well as colleges and universities to say that they will – independent of the federal government – stand by the Paris agreement, as it pertains to their particular organization. There are a few automotive and transportation companies on the list, including Lyft, Uber and Oberon Fuels. There are also two automaker that has signed on, and we’ll let you guess who they are. Tesla might be the gimme answer since CEO Elon Musk publicly broke with the President over the issue, but the other might surprise you: Volvo. Both Ford and GM have made statements against Trump’s actions, but have not signed on to We Are Still In.

Which brings us to how to take action without going out an buying a new XC90 T8 or Model S. The best way to reduce your carbon footprint depends on too many personal variables to give out the details here, but there are some good rules of thumb. If you want to really crunch some numbers, you can start by calculating your own CO2 footprint with these two posts from our archives and go from there.

Simple rules of thumb you may have heard before but Paris suggests we revisit them:

  • The easiest way to “Paris yourself” as you move through the world is to consider if the trip you’re about to go on needs to be done now, on its own, or if it can be combined with another trip later.
  • If you don’t own a car, or perhaps only own a big one that sucks gas like it’s going out of style, then looking into local car sharing options makes sense. Car2go and Zipcar are the two big ones in the U.S., but there are lots of other options, including some services that specialize in electric vehicles (see, for example, Montreal or Indianapolis).
  • And speaking of electric cars, we don’t need to tell our regular readers, but these zero-emission vehicles really are the future. For those of you still just thinking about EVs, using a car sharing option is a great way to test drive a vehicle while being productive. If you don’t have local EV car sharing, check out the local cab companies, as they may have Nissan Leafs in their fleet. These EVs are popular in many cities, and can show you first-hand that an electric car can be as beat upon and reliable as any gas vehicle.
  • Um, also, bikes and walking still work great.
  • If you’ve got to drive your own car, there are still a lot of ways to not only reduce your carbon footprint but also save money. Since the fuel you burn and your CO2 emissions are related, doing things like taking off your roof rack when you don’t need it or avoiding jackrabbit starts and stops is better for the planet and your wallet. If you really want to go to the extreme, look into hypermiling.

Source: We Are Still In

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1 Comment on "Op-Ed: How To Become A Climate Leader Yourself, After Paris"

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Baker

“Um, also, bikes and walking still work great.”

This sounds almost like a throw-away line, but in fact, electric powered 2 wheeled transportation is the most efficient, BY FAR, that’s capable of going at the speed of traffic. A Zero motorcycle gets over 400 MPGe in town and can go 0-60 in a bit over 3 seconds. It costs in the 16K range.

Also, consider joining a group like Citizens’ Climate Lobby. They propose very sound policies that appeal across the political spectrum, in particular a carbon fee and dividend (refundable carbon tax) which would end up giving most people a RAISE while fighting carbon pollution.