Canceling Summer Vacation Isn't the Solution to Climate Change

Let's first cut carbon emissions that don't make positive returns on human happiness.

It's no secret that air travel is a big contributor to carbon emissions. As of 2015, air travel alone accounted for 2.5 percent of global emissions, or about as much as Germany. The summer and holidays account for much of this travel — people going on vacations or going to visit family. But Adam Corner from The Guardian argues our hedonistic tendencies should be the last to go. He makes an interesting point about how we should cut back on overconsumption.


Corner makes reference to comedian David Mitchell's point: Going green isn't fun; it's annoying. It's not an adventure, it's as boring as washing the dishes, and becoming a sustainable person means, for many people, altering routines and giving up things they may love most.

We've had decades of warning to give up the big things that contribute most to climate change.

Showers and lawn care are small things people could give up. Doing it less frequently would certainly help California's efforts during this time of drought. It's necessary if the people in the San Joaquin Valley don't want their property values to sink (har har). But asking people to give up daily showers is like pulling teeth.

A more interesting (and less pungent) solution may be researching alternative energy providers and purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs) or maybe even going one step further and installing solar panels.

How renewable energy credits, purchasable through electricity utilities, create demand for renewable energy.

We've had decades of warning to give up the big things that contribute most to climate change, but only recently did NASA shift its focus from climate change prevention to studying its effects. Its most recent projections show massive changes to our global environments by 2100. The conversation of prevention has stopped; it's all about how to cope.

Most of the world's wealthiest nations think we can adapt to the coming change, but money and resources will only get us so far for so long. Once the oil dries up, we won't be able to import solutions to solve all our problems. We have so much, but we need to learn to adjust expectations and understand we have limits. It's time for us to grow with our planet — to adapt.

These are the easy steps — buying a solution to a problem — but there has to be another step after that.

I understand hedonism is a major barrier for change, but there are solutions to make the transition a little easier. The SunPort is one of them, allowing users to charge a laptop and a refrigerator, and still get instant access to renewable energy. Likewise, the Nebia showerhead uses 70 percent less water without the drip of the typical eco-saving showerheads.

These are the easy steps — buying a solution to a problem — but there has to be another step after that, and after that as well. We need to change our habits or they will be changed for us — or for the ones who come after us.

Read more at The Guardian.

Photo Credit: ESA / Handout/ Getty

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Apple, Amazon, and Uber are moving in on health care. Will it help?

Big tech is making its opening moves into the health care scene, but its focus on tech-savvy millennials may miss the mark.

Apple COO Jeff Williams discusses Apple Watch Series 4 during an event on September 12, 2018, in Cupertino, California. The watch lets users take electrocardiogram readings. (Photo: NOAH BERGER/AFP/Getty Images)
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google have been busy investing in health care companies, developing new apps, and hiring health professionals for new business ventures.
  • Their current focus appears to be on tech-savvy millennials, but the bulk of health care expenditures goes to the elderly.
  • Big tech should look to integrating its most promising health care devise, the smartphone, more thoroughly into health care.
Keep reading Show less

The culprit of increased depression among teens? Smartphones, new research suggests.

A new study, led by psychologist Jean Twenge, points to the screen as the problem.

A teenager eyes her smartphone as people enjoy a warm day on the day of silence, one day prior to the presidential elections, when candidates and political parties are not allowed to voice their political meaning on April 14, 2018 in Kotor, Montenegro. Citizens from Montenegro, the youngest NATO member, will vote for a new president on Sunday 15 2018. (Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images)
Surprising Science
  • In a new study, adolescents and young adults are experiencing increased rates of depression and suicide attempts.
  • The data cover the years 2005–2017, tracking perfectly with the introduction of the iPhone and widespread dissemination of smartphones.
  • Interestingly, the highest increase in depressive incidents was among individuals in the top income bracket.
Keep reading Show less

The colossal problem with universal basic income

Here's why universal basic income will hurt the 99%, and make the 1% even richer.

Videos
  • Universal basic income is a band-aid solution that will not solve wealth inequality, says Rushkoff.
  • Funneling money to the 99% perpetuates their roles as consumers, pumping money straight back up to the 1% at the top of the pyramid.
  • Rushkoff suggests universal basic assets instead, so that the people at the bottom of the pyramid can own some means of production and participate in the profits of mega-rich companies.
Keep reading Show less