Julia Hertell thinks climate change is the most hot-button issue of our time. So does her husband. When they got married they started right off by asking their wedding guests to bring presents that were old. They decided to only have two children. Thought about adopting, but decided they were too old. The couple doesn’t own a car, instead, they use electric bikes with big boxes to transport their kids, take public transport and car-share. Julia gave up flying for one year, except for two business trips.
Their apartment is furnished with lots of old and used things. The family's diet is mostly vegan. For the girl's birthday parties, they ask the parents to chip in 3 to 5 euros each and buy only one present. Their friends love the idea and have copied it. Gifts to family and friends are concert tickets, vouchers for spas, organic food. They use old-school cleaning products: soda, black or linseed soap, bio-detergent for the dishwasher and the washing machine. They buy clothes made of natural fiber. Avoid plastics. They don't have a dryer (emits more carbon dioxide than air conditioning). Their frig is small, with a top freezer.
Julia and Samuli are architects. They try to include energy efficiency in their work. When Julia designed her father’s house* in Hanko, her goals were to make it beautiful, functional and eco-friendly. The house is built on a rocky site. It's heated and cooled thermally – two drill holes, 230 m into the rock, do the trick. The wine cellar isn't heated or cooled. It takes energy from the surrounding rock and is the same temperature year around. Julia says the energy efficiency regulations for insulation are geared to keep the heat in. The 450 mm insulation in the walls and roof is too thick. The house is warm in winter, but it can get hot in the summer. Open windows and a sea breeze make it comfortable. Julia and Samuli are not alone in their efforts to lower their imprint on the climate. Millennials, especially, are on board. They know that for their future and their children's future, it's imperative to cut their CARBON FOOTPRINT. But we better all pitch in to avert ‘a climate apocalypse’**.
* Joni Hertell’s house was featured in a Danish TV program.
**Greta Thunberg. (Time magazine Person of the Year). She and Donald Trump get star billing at the World Economic Forum in Davos the week of January 20. The theme is climate change: Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.
Source: Julia Hertell
Next week: Eki & I have a BET: who will the DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE?
When it comes to climate change, individual choices matter. Even tiny changes create a huge impact when we multiply the individual choices by the eight billion or so humans on the planet. Larger changes, like reducing meat consumption, limiting unnecessary travel, and most importantly, having fewer kids make much bigger an impact. Doing all this is applaudable.
Yet it's not enough. Not by a long shot.
The thing is, we really need to get to zero emissions in the long run, sooner the better. That means structural changes in the society and the near-complete elimination of fossil fuel use. And this cannot be done on the level of individual humans, not even on the level of individual countries.
The prisoner's dilemma from game theory** forbids this. Making choices that would be best for everyone can be disadvantageous to an individual unless everyone cooperates. And in this case, this means everyone on the scale of our planet.
So, international treaties are the way to go - cooperation on a global scale.
The mere idea of this world-scale regulation, as well as the lost profits, are poison to some. They are powerful, well funded and prepared to do anything to stop global regulations from happening. And i think it's a crime.
I would not be surprised to see something like the tobacco trials waged against the most powerful climate denialists in the future. Or, even Nüremberg-like trials. They are committing their crimes against humanity after all.