The Individual Cannot Save the Climate

Climate and environment blog

Individuals do not have enough knowledge to know what makes a major difference to the climate.

Instead, it is the task of politicians to ensure that climate change is included in the price of our consumption.

Individual citizens must pull their straw to the stack to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they are often heard nowadays.
But it is doubtful whether individuals have enough knowledge to know what makes a real difference to the climate. Even experts who should know are often given things about the back foot.

General tips is that we should reduce our electricity use by switching off the lamp when it is not needed and unplugging mobile chargers helps to achieve climate goals. In addition, you should think about how much you shower and lower the indoor temperature. But the main source of heating and hot water is now district heating, which burns with biofuel or garbage that had been burned in any case. And the small part that comes from fossil fuels is part of the EU’s emissions trading. So even in this case, it is very doubtful if you get any climate effect at all.

It is difficult to be climate-smart. But there is a solution. In a market economy, all the costs of our consumption are summed up in the price we pay. We do not have to have a bad conscience because we take up the hairdresser’s time when we cut or that arable land must be used to produce the food we eat.

It is included in the price. If the state pursues a climate policy that ensures that consumers and companies can pay for their emissions, climate change is also included in the price and there is no reason for individual individuals to keep track of what consumption emits much or little carbon dioxide. The climate issue is political, not private.

Many emissions are already covered by carbon dioxide tax or emissions trading. This means an even greater reason to question the benefits of individuals’ own efforts. But at the end of the day, we should do what we can.

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