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First off, I’m an egalitarian.  What that means is that I believe in that clearly untrue statement that all people are created equal.  The Wikipedia expresses this sentiment appropriately vaguely:

Egalitarianism is a belief of thought that favors equality of some sort. Its general premise is that people should be treated as equals on certain dimensions such as race, religion, ethnicity, sex, political affiliation, economic status, social status, and cultural heritage. Egalitarian doctrines tend to maintain that all humans are equal in fundamental worth or social status.

If I have an equal right to consume, what does that mean?  I took a look at some figures.

I’m a Canadian and we are apparently 10th on the list of contributors of greenhouse gases at 1.83% of the total. Our population is only 0.5% of the world population.  If we hold greenhouse emissions constant and share them out equally among all people, then I must reduce my emissions by a mere 73%.  Of course, holding emissions constant is not good enough: our world goal is to reduce them below 1990 levels – so let’s guess I need a reduction of 80%.  That means I must reduce my consumption by 4 parts out of 5.

Where does it leave me?  Well, challenged.  The changes required to our beloved life are significant and so far we are increasing our emissions rather than reducing them.  Who should I blame?  Us all, of course!  Will we mend our ways before falling off the edge of the world?  See below.

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One Comment

  1. It seems to me that the size of our houses contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. I doubt that I could live in a house that is 89 square feet but it seems that smaller houses would be worth considering. We should stop building the McMansions in Stonebridge and try to be a bit more reasonable maybe. Urban sprawl is a plague on Saskatoon. Everbody is so spread out and burning lots of fuel to keep their huge houses heated in our crummy climate.


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