Think bigger. Whether it’s the importance of understanding leverage, not just footprints —or pontifications on the difference between shopping and voting —I feel like I’ve written variations on this theme many times before. And yet the planetary crisis continues, and I keep meeting people whose first question on this topic is some variation of “how can I best reduce my family’s carbon footprint?” It’s not, as I’ve argued before, that the question itself doesn’t matter. It’s that the scale of it is all wrong. If we spend our mental energy worrying about the relative climate impact of paper-versus-plastic bags, or local meat versus imported tofu, then we run the risk of missing the more important conversation about how we build a society where our collective carbon footprint trends decisively and rapidly downwards. Sometimes—indeed often—the end result of our deliberations will be the same. When we choose to go car free, or switch to driving electric, we are sending a signal to free markets and legislators alike about the world we would like to see. Indeed, oil demand in Norway is now beginning to actually drop thanks to the collective impact of thousands of individual choices by […]

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