The Energy Diet

The NYT posted this article the other day, written by Andrew Postman about his efforts to reduce his CO2 impact, with as little effort as possible.  I thought it was somewhat humorous in the fact that it really sums up the extreme laziness our society has achieved.  Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised at all the positive comments reflecting personal efforts of individuals to reduce their impact on this planet.  I thought comment #159 was actually quite profound and worth emphasis.  It’s directed at all those people that believe their small efforts have no impact.  I’m including it here in its entirety, though it might be helpful to refer to the links for a little background.

Comment #159.


To all those expressing the futility of being just a drop in the ocean: you weren’t alone in making our country more wasteful and energy consuming than any other (and see how successful we were at that with all of those little drops wasting in small ways) and you won’t be alone in turning this around. And to make sure of that, tell all your friends and family what you will be doing to save energy and encourage them to do the same. They are not anonymous little drops in the ocean.

If you have any doubt how a lot of personal actions can change things (even how big companies act) remember how all of the large, gas-guzzling American cars practically disappeared in the oil crisis of the 70s and were replaced by more efficient, smaller foreign cars? And now Toyota is the number 2, soon to to be number 1, car company. Unfortunately, as gas got cheap, new forms of gas guzzlers returned. But if no “just a drop” made the excuse that their actions were ineffective and simply refused to buy an SUV, then there would be no market for them and they would disappear, too.

posted on October 5th, 2006 at 4:52 pm



3 thoughts on “The Energy Diet

  1. it’s the butterfly effect… the flap of a butterfly’s wings in texas… it’s all connected. i think what he says is an important reminder for us all when we begin to feel as if our efforts are futile.

  2. ok, so i just did that calculation on the website and it said that i use 93.3 tons per year and that the average was 7 tons. i know that can’t be correct!!! there is no way that i use that much higher than the average american when i live somewhat low impact… something must be off.

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