Al Gore’s Live Earth pledge — should you sign?
With Live Earth concerts coming up on Saturday, Al Gore wants people to sign a seven-point pledge to help combat global warming.
If everyone signs and sticks to the promises, Gore reckons it would help avert more heatwaves, floods, droughts, disease and rising seas projected by the U.N. climate panel.
The pledge would also bring wrenching changes in lifestyles, especially in the United States and other rich nations addicted to fossil fuel use.
Most people, like me, can easily manage the suggested commitments on the Live Earth website such as “I will ride public transport or carpool one or more times a week” (I usually get to work by tram in Oslo).
But that will be far from enough if you sign the pledge. Some of the seven points involve hard-to-judge personal goals such as “demanding action” by the government for a 90 percent cut in emissions or “working for” big changes in society. It strikes me that point two is the toughest for individuals:
“I pledge…to take personal action to help solve the climate crisis by reducing my own CO2 pollution as much as I can and offsetting the rest to become ‘carbon neutral’.”
So let’s say you are an average American emitting about 20 tonnes of greenhouse gases a year and manage to cut your emissions in half –that still leaves you having to offset 10 tonnes a year to become “carbon neutral”. You can plant trees to soak up emissions but they take time to grow.
Climatecare.org, which allows you to invest in renewable energies or forest plantings to soak up emissions, advertises offsets costing about $150 for 10 tonnes.
So that’s a serious pledge. Should people sign? Please tell us what you think.