There is a new book on the shelves in Great Britain called "How to Live a Low Carbon Life" by Chris Goodall. Of course there is a chapter on choosing automobiles but that is only part of an LCF (Low Carbon Life). My wife and I have already started living it doing the obvious things. Our house is a lot darker than it used to be and we ventilate rather than air condition our rooms. It works!

I believe the book hits nearly all the known ways of cutting carbon use without going too extreme. Remember "solar clothes dryers" when you were a kid? That is the modern name for a clothes line. Only one problem, Chris's book uses only metric units to describe energy saving, and only British pounds to describe costs. We educated Americans know how to convert from kilograms to American pounds, right? (multiply kilograms by 2.2 to get pounds). And an English (money) pound is now worth about 2 US dollars.

We may dodge another bullet this summer here on the East Coast and avoid disastrous hurricanes as we did last year but the handwriting is on the wall. The gross amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is growing, the polar ice caps are melting and most of us are still driving, lighting, heating and cooling like there is no tomorrow. I would rather save my carbon use for the really great stuff – like listening to my classic rock n' roll recordings from the sixties and seventies, or taking the edge off one of those really, really hot days, rather than blow it on minor stuff.

It is not how much each person contributes to global warming that counts. It is how much the whole human race contributes that will accelerate or slow that CO2 curve that translates into heat or unstable weather. The jerk up the street with two SUVs in his driveway and who runs his whole house A/C is ruining it for himself and the rest of us.

So don't increase your energy use in other ways when you buy your hybrid. That defeats the whole reason for buying it. A Low Carbon Life can be a Low Problem Life but it doesn't have to be a Low Fun Life.

[Source: E magazine]

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