Saturday, October 10, 2009

ZEITGEIST: An Optimistic Solution to Global Warming - A Motivational Approach

By Mark P Knight

The issue of global warming is one which is starting to attract worldwide global attention; which, as public awareness increases, the potentially catastrophic effects of our changing climate is beginning to sink in. The realization of this ongoing and 'real' threat to our environment and way of life is creating a stir within the community, causing a demand for change to be taken.

Currently, focus is being emphasized on the damaging effects and worst-case doomsday scenario, which many scientists and global warming enthusiasts predict, may arise. This however is non-motivational, and does little to encourage those who experience a high-carbon, polluting and environmentally-damaging lifestyle from changing their behaviors.

The purpose of burdening individuals with the hugely overwhelming, and almost incomprehensible problem of global warming was meant to strike fear into recipients, upon which our natural survivalism instinct would inspire us to react to resolve the underlying cause due to the threat of losing our livelihood, money, life, friends/ family, our life as we know it. However this is both energy sapping and demoralizing as significant focus on resolving issues through reaction to negative emotions is more emotionally demanding; resulting in less energy to appreciate and welcome in a new era of environmentalism as Jerry Gillies mentions:

"It takes a lot more energy to fail than to succeed, since it takes a lot of concentrated energy to hold on to beliefs that don't work".

It is also true that at present, the current measure for motivating individuals into acting and changing their behaviors is not working, as many have feelings of powerlessness and inadequacy to make a difference. It needs to be identified that the sum of our cumulative effort as a community will make an impact; and it is only by embracing this concept, as a group entity will we ever be likely to succeed in our goal of reduced CO2 levels and a sustainable lifestyle.

It is apparent that a rethink of the Government's approach needs to be undertaken, in regards to advertising, broadcasting and distribution of information in relation to global warming, which facilitates a positive reaction and not an inflammatory, defensive and negative counter-response. We therefore need to increase awareness of the benefits of a low-carbon society, which adopts a localized, low-energy and sustainable lifestyle.

These benefits include:
  • Improved sense of community and belonging in your local area, due to more close-knitted communities, and the need to work together (similar to during the War period).
  • Reduced commuting/ travel times arising from localization encouraged through mixed-use developments.
  • Reduced bills through use of renewable energy technologies including solar panels and wind turbines.
  • Improved understanding and relationship with food and drink through greater use of self-grown fruits/ vegetables.
  • Greater emphasis on family, friends and relationships, reducing our obsession with technological goods/ products.
  • Health benefits, through reduced stress related to SBS syndrome, work related illnesses.
  • Sense of well being, satisfaction and positive optimism in light of response to achieving a sustainable lifestyle.
  • Diminished social pressures to attain a level of wealth through acquisition of material objects.
We need to make a conscious effort as individuals to adapt and change our lifestyle, shifting from one which is highly technological, and consumer driven, to an era of low energy, localized resource sourcing, stimulated by the need to reduce our carbon footprint to counteract the threat of global warming.

The article was written by Mark P Knight at Energy Measures, where more information on renewable energy technologies and articles can be found.

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