Individual Action will Bring Balance to the Climate Crisis
The polarization of debate around the world has devolved into an exercise in finger pointing and name calling. Depending on what side of the political aisle you are on, you are either a left-wing virtue signaler or a right-wing climate change denier. Is there a way forward where debate and decisions based on facts and best practices can win the day?
Since inception Big Wheel Burger has reduced emissions by nearly 1.4 Million Kgs of CO2, as our business grows the carbon saved will be significant. Our plan in 2020 is to help other small businesses go green, educate individuals to take action and influence government to provide incentive to offset some of the costs. Imagine a Canada where 1000 businesses over the next 8 years each can save 1.4 Million Kgs of CO2 entering the atmosphere? When individual actions are added to the mix, a meaningful level of action is more achievable.
In my view, it is everyone’s obligation to make meaningful changes in the way they live and consume. Our purchasing decisions should be made with the climate in mind. As an owner of a carbon neutral business, I have addressed my corporate responsibility. Despite this, I still get overwhelmed with fatalistic predictions of the end of the world. This undoubtedly paralyzes everyone into inaction. There are meaningful steps that we can take to quieten the noise and help lower our emissions locally. By supporting companies that are taking climate action seriously, it’s my belief we can move both industry and government to a place of meaningful reductions. This can be done without destroying our economy or frightening our children.
Studies claim, the world has spent over two trillion dollars to move from fossil-fuel based energy sources to renewable wind and solar sources. Yet, by all accounts the energy mix is mostly unchanged with demand for oil likely to peak in 2050 and, solar and wind power constituting only “1.3 and 3.9 percent” (respectively) of the global production.
Even if production of solar and wind energy increased, it would do little to lock in fossil fuel generation simply because the hidden environmental costs of these renewable sources are overlooked. To create reliable energy from these sources’, backup petroleum and natural gas generators are required.
Prudent lifestyle choices by individuals will lead to collective societal change and overall reduction in consumption which is the only way to put the brakes on a consumer driven economy. A case in point – is it sagacious to retain a fully functional Internal Combustions Engine Vehicle (ICEV) instead of purchasing a new Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)? A sustainability-minded decision before switching cars would answer the questions: what will be the Global Warming Potential (GWP) from running the ICEV till its end of life, does the environmental cost of manufacturing a BEV’s large batteries offset the ecological impact of the ICEV’s end-of-life disposal? The following chart provides some answers.
Total lifecycle economic cost and environmental impact analysis of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) versus internal Combustion Engine Vehicles (ICEVs)
It is essential to rethink buying decisions – contribute to the circular economy – choose to recycle, upcycle or reuse and limit overall consumption.
Stay tuned to our upcoming blogs at bigwheelburger.com/blog and look to consume less moving forward. This will likely have a bigger and quicker impact than engaging in endless debate and fear mongering.
Calen “BigWheel” McNeil