The bad news: Our political leaders are not going to save us.
The Copenhagen Climate Change Conference will not deliver the changes we need to stop runaway climate change. Nations will not agree. Hard and necessary decisions will not be reached.
The good news: It is time for ordinary people, people like you and me, to make concrete changes with a hard deadline. Not 2020 or 2050, but next year: 2010!
We need to realise and understand, at a deep level, that our leaders follow us. They always have and they always will.
Corporations and polluting businesses follow us too. They need to realise it, and now is the time to give them a wake up call.
- "There will come a time when the earth is sick and the animals and plants begin to die. Then the Indians will regain their spirit and gather people of all nations, colours and beliefs to join together in the fight to save the earth: The Rainbow Warriors.
1010uk.org is an organisation encouraging British citizens to cut their emissions by 10% by 2010.
It was created by the Filmmakers behind the documentary "The Age Of Stupid".
So you're not British? Neither am I. But we can still take a look at the website's recommendations, which are well thought-out and well-explained, and use them to cut our impact in our own part of the world.
1010NZ, 1010AU, 1010CAN and 1010USA - coming soon!
The 1010 organisation is looking at launching 1010 in New Zealand and other countries that have expressed interest.
If you think this is a worthwhile mission, and would like this to happen in your own country, contact 1010 at firstname.lastname@example.org. I contacted them, and they were very prompt with their response. I have also requested a 1010 Facebook Action group.
The organisation has been inundated with requests for worldwide versions, and if you email 1010, or follow the site, you'll keep up with news about what's happening.
For me, I think this is a brilliant action network.
I am not willing to sit back on my laurels and wait for politicians to move on behalf of our planet, and I think that cuts by 2020 or 2050 may be too late to stop runaway climate change.
I want action now, and 1010 provides a facility and a means for us to get together, share tips and support, and get acting now!
10% by 2010 - Think you can do it?
If you'd like to join in the 1010uk challenge, grab a copy of the 1010 icon above, and post about the project on your own blog.
By cutting our emissions 10% (or more!) by 2010 and talking about it, we'll be sending a huge message to our communities that change can happen, and that change starts at home - with you and me!
The 1010 checklist
The 1010uk 10 point checklist offers the following checkpoints which people can tick off quickly and easily. I'm providing an abbreviated version below.
You can print out the full 1010 checklist at their website, and stick it on your fridge or home noticeboard.
Here's my abbreviated version of their list.
1. Fly less, holiday more.
Swap the plane for the train. If you never fly, or take only one return flight a year, tick the box right now.
2. Save 10% on heating.
Turn down the thermostat, and insulate your ceiling and walls. Check for government grants in your local area that may make this more affordable. If you don't use gas or oil, tick the box right now.
3. Save 10% on electricity.
Change to compact fluoro lightglobes, replace old fridges and freezers, turn off the "standby" gadgets. If you produce your own electricity from solar or wind, tick the box right now.
4. Drive less.
Leave the car at home one day a week. Walk, cycle or take public transport. Car-pool to work. Tick the box right now if you have no car.
5. Eat better.
Local, in-season fruit and veg = less emissions = less climate damage. Have one meat-free day a week, but don't replace with just-as-bad cheese. Tick the box if you don't eat meat or dairy.
6. Buy good stuff.
Less stuff made = less emisions. Buy good quality things that last.
7. Dump less.
Avoid excess packaging and buying pointless stuff that goes straight in the bin. Recycle everything possible, and compost your food waste.
8. Don't waste food.
The average British family throws away 50 pounds of food every month (that's $114 New Zealand dollars, or $81 US dollars). Don't buy more than you need, and use your leftovers.
9. Don't waste water.
Tap water uses lots of energy – and then heating it in your home uses loads more. Take showers rather than baths, and only run full dishwashers & washing machines.
10. Feel happier!
It's December 2010. If you've succeeded in everything above, tick this box!
Over the coming few weeks, I'll be tackling these ten points in a series of blog posts. To find posts on the 1010 10% emissions reduction challenge, click on the "1010 Challenge" tag at the top of this blog.
Cluttercut - Be the change