Looking at everyone’s posts, I feel impressed at the changes most of you are willing to make after learning about your carbon footprints. However, as some other people were saying, in order to create large scale change it will take a lot of time and/or government intervention.
For Americans, the use of cars is practically embedded in our culture- most cities aren’t centered around the use of public transportation or bicycling. I feel like everything is so fast paced and far apart, we need to get things done quickly- and the fastest and most convenient way is by means of private transportation. People have also gotten lazy. Even if some people wanted to take the bus to work, schedules can be confusing and it’s slow.
Getting out of these habits will require immense cultural change, I think. Some people need an incentive or a reason besides knowing that doing so helps the environment (including myself). In other places, car prices are more expensive and public transport is easy and cheap to come by, but not so much here. Businesses could raise gas prices or provide and easily accessible public transportation, but first citizens would have to express a want for it.
This is where laws should come in to restrict or discourage polluting behavior. It’s already seen in some places like grocery stores where you have to pay if you don’t bring a reusable bag. What would happen if the number of flights we took per year was restricted, or if we weren’t allowed to drive without applying for a permit? Maybe people who fly for reasons other than vacation would be required to apply for a special card while only ambulances and firetrucks would have access to cars. That sounds really impossible and there are downsides, but think of what could change positively under those laws.
Of course this won’t be happening any time soon because we have a democratic government where people don’t want their freedoms violated. In order for anything so out there to happen, we would need to have a dictator.
What do you guys think? Am I suggesting something too extreme? Either leaders make a swift decision or the people gang up- both ways will take a lot of convincing and effort on our part. Any suggestions? Please correct me if you think I said something wrong.