Combating climate change – don’t look at me! *

I am certainly no angel when it comes to environmental action – for example, I have taken far too many flights in the course of my life.  I have been lucky enough to do a lot of international work and so to some extent this has been unavoidable, but I know it isn’t right.

However, when I heard of Unit-E – as Good Energy used to be called – soon after moving into my present house in 1997, I realised that this was an easy and effective way to reduce my carbon footprint.  I would not even have to instal any solar panels or windmills for myself!

A few years later I transferred my source of gas to Good Energy too, because I prefer dealing with this company than the big beasts of the energy market, which are only interested in money.  Maybe I should have converted my heating, cooking and hot water supply to electricity instead, but I didn’t.

Not long after transferring my electricity supply I scrapped my car.  This was a little odd since one of my reasons for buying this house was that it had a garage at the back as well as a couple of parking spaces where a front garden should be.  But after a while I discovered that living here, I had only driven 300 miles in a quarter, and so there was little point in continuing with the vehicle.

Now I walk or take a bus or train everywhere and I can’t imagine even wanting a car any more.  Why put up with the hassles and expense of driving when I can sit in a comfortable train seat and read a book or watch the world go by?  But I realise that I am fortunate to be in a position to choose.

Besides that, I buy organic food as much as I can, compatibly with my dietary preferences, knowing that the field rotations it requires help to sequester carbon from the atmosphere by fertilising the soil with manure rather than minerals or chemicals.

Nevertheless, I can see that restoring the climate and biodiversity are huge tasks which will require strong action by governments – far stronger than any hitherto – since we humans are fallible creatures.  Only the most acutely conscientious among us will do everything that we ought to off our own bats, so we need to be placed in a position where we have little or no choice.

  • This is a slightly edited version of something I’ve written to Good Energy (my energy supplier) since it asked its customers to tell them a bit about why they chose that firm and what other steps they are taking to combat climate change. They promised a prize draw for everyone who wrote in!