Switch on the tv news any day of the week, and there will be some segment that horrifies you about the environment and climate change. It seems there are fires raging in one or more parts of the world while water from sudden deluges flood towns and cities in other parts, and yet other areas suffer severe droughts where they have never occurred before. The weather forecasts are continually unsettling, we get cold when it should be warm and heatwaves when the weather should be calming down for winter. It is as if someone has given the planet a good shake and everything is out of sync.
Whether we are valid in blaming ourselves for climate change, or raising some or other factor as an excuse, the fact is, that climate change is here, and it is in the here and now that we have to deal with it, before it gets any worse.
What is Killing the Planet?
It is no surprise that fossil fuels seem to get the brunt of bad publicity regarding the climate crisis. Cars, trucks, and diesel monstrosities like locomotives, heavy plant machinery, and ships, push the boundaries in topping the greenhouse gas emission scales. Heavy industries and aviation are also up there towards the top of the league.
“Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transport sector have more than doubled since 1970, and have increased at a faster rate than any other energy end-use sector…” (source)
Governments Should Act
It is no surprise that some people feel helpless with the daily onslaught of environmental bad news that they hear. An individual is powerless when it comes to tackling national and international issues that are of concern. They expect their government to address such issues for them. Governments should do this. Governments should do that. Governments though, have a great deal of interests to oversee, and governments usually move at the pace of a sloth-like snail with mobility issues.
It is definitely wise to put pressure on politicians to act, for big polluting industries are also always lobbying politicians to act in their, and their shareholders, interest, rather than in the best interests of the environment.
Individuals Should Act
It is not the case that individuals don’t act. Responsible citizens across the world do what they can, and are recommended to do, to become greener living individuals. Some governments are better than others, in publishing guidelines and changing legislation, to allow them to become better environmentally aware members of the community. Some individuals take the responsibility for greener living more seriously than others, but most people want to do something towards lessening their carbon footprint, and help the planet in their own small way.
Commuting by Car
Hands up, how many of us commute to our place of employment, as the sole occupant of a large car, or know a few people who do so? Totalling all those single journeys up is a lot of greenhouse gases in the environment.
Hands up, how many of us jump in the car without a thought when just going to the local store for a pint of milk or some bread?
Don’t feel bad if your hand is up, millions of other hands worldwide are also up!
The point is not to make anyone feel bad, or guilty, about the habits they have gotten used to over the years, before any thought was given to what all these accumulated journeys do to the environment. The only point is to ask people to think, is that journey necessary, and if so, is there a better way to do it?
Commuting by car is essential for a great deal of people. It is plainly not feasible to change this for many, unless they change their job, which is not something lightly done if you have a family to support and a mortgage to pay, and alternative employment is not abundant.
Commuting by Ebike
For some though, commuting by car may have a viable alternative, and it may save the commuter a great deal of money over the commute by car. Commuting by ebike will not only be better for the environment, it will save on petrol or diesel costs, and get you to your office or depot, or wherever you work, just as fresh as if you had driven there.
Of course, this choice is not open to everyone, but to the ones who have this option, it may be something they wished they had done years ago. An ebike is a fun way to travel to work, it gives you gentle exercise, and is eco-friendly, and will save on fossil fuels that would only have been used to add CO2, and other pollutants, to the environment.
If a change from car to ebike commuting is not a practicable proposition for you, then there may be something else you can do, to cut your personal carbon footprint. Maybe that trip to the store could be done by ebike, a weekly trip to the store by ebike would cut 50 return trips by car a year. A number of people doing this, well, it all adds up, and everyone, in their own way, is doing a little bit to help the planet along.
The Ebike and the Environment
It is obviously not the case, that even if everyone purchased an ebike and used it as often as possible, that we could all shout, ‘Hooray, the climate crisis is gone…’ The facts from environmental experts suggest we are in this, ‘for the long haul,’ to use a transportation metaphor. But, lots of small things add together to make big things, just as lots of small journeys added together can amount to something of the size that matters and makes a difference.
Not everyone can, or would want to, use an ebike for their own personal transportation needs. For anyone considering it though, please give it a try, you may find you’ve found a method of transport that not only ups your environmentally-aware street-cred, and lowers your carbon footprint. It maybe such fun to use that you cannot ever imagine going back to the car and the traffic jam.
What’s My Carbon Footprint?
If you have an interest in what your own personal carbon footprint may be, why not try the UN Carbon Footprint Calculator and find out.
01 Oct 2021