This week more than any other week in recent years, the world has thought about and talked about climate change. With Trump pulling the US out of their voluntary Paris Accord Commitments, 187 American city mayors publicly stated their commitment to adopt, honour and uphold the Paris Climate Agreement goals.
Which is awesome. But public statements, require actions. And as the mayor of New York City said this week:
“Everyone in our own life needs to change our habits to start protecting the Earth,”.
Well ok, this is all sounded good.
But in that interview, an excellent question from a caller came in:
“How about you stepping up your game and leading by example [by] getting out of your SUV armada?” said the caller, Charles Komanoff, a longtime energy-policy expert from Manhattan and a Carbon Tax Center founder. “And if you need to go to the Park Slope Y five days a week rather than a gym near you, why don’t you take mass transit or even once in a while ride a bike like the vast majority of your fellow New Yorkers so you will know how we are suffering under a transit system?”
Now that is spot on.
Reducing your driving is one of the biggest changes you can make in your life to reduce the impact on climate change.
And I’m not going to even push that you should go all-in on the car-free lifestyle (even though you should, it’s easy). Let’s start with smaller steps, maybe a few trips a week that you would normally do with a car you do with transit, walking or a bike. But does that really make an impact?
The answer is yes – hell yes.
I recently came across this Curbed Los Angeles article titled: Want to Support the Paris Agreement? Stop Driving So Much, LA The answer: just 12 percent less time in cars—about two car-free trips per week—and Los Angeles will have fulfilled their commitment to the Paris agreement.
12 percent. That’s not a significant lifestyle change at all. So easily doable. So do it!
…But seriously, I can’t not push it. If 12% can make a city meet a city’s entire commitment to the Paris Agreement, going fully car-free in Toronto can make a serious impact! Be a climate change champion!