The Personal Is Political
Never mind corporate responsibility, or government responsibility; let’s talk about personal responsibility. That’s the gist of Canada’s new plan for fighting global warming. The proposal, which is being released today, entails convincing every last Canuck to reduce her or his own contribution to greenhouse gas emissions by one metric ton annually (or about 20 percent). Translation: cooler showers, lower thermostat settings, less private automobile use, and other lifestyle changes for Canadians. If successful, the effort would yield a total annual emissions reduction of 31 million metric tons. The government says the plan is sensible because a significant amount of Canada’s greenhouse gases stem from fossil fuels burned to heat homes and power cars. It plans to offer financial incentives for energy-efficiency upgrades in private homes and increased use of public transit.