Darmok, thanks for pointing me to the Nobel Prize website. There, I found a real gem. A transcript of the telephone interview of Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), following the announcement of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, 12 October 2007. The interviewer was Adam Smith, Editor-in-Chief of Nobelprize.org. Here is the part that caught my attention:
(AS) – If individuals were to ask you what they should do to help . . .
(RP) – Yes, yes. (I can so well see it, the Indian head shake . . . Prad being from India, this is an ongoing joke between us, Yes, yes, I am telling you . . .)
(AS) – . . . What would your message be to them?
(RP) – Well I would say two things. Firstly I think we should ponder and consider, ponder over and consider, the carbon footprint that each of our actions is producing. And I think if we create a consciousness that this world has to move towards a low carbon future, then I think it would certainly set us in a somewhat different direction from what we’ve been following. And secondly I think there is need for major behavioural changes, and changes in lifestyles, and I think if the public puts adequate pressure on governments then governments will frame policies, including putting a price on carbon, that will provide the right signals to the market as well for developing new technologies and being able to disseminate them on a large scale.
So, you mean I am not crazy. We need to figure out a better, more user friendly system of measuring the impact of each one of our daily actions. Carbon calculators don’t work because they are too rough in the way they operate. The measurements need to get down to the minute level of each ones of our actions, so that we become conscious on a much more refined level. This is an idea that has been dancing in my head for some time now, and Rajendra Pachauri’s words are just what I needed to get going with this project. I want to itemize all the actions that make my days, and start calculating the carbon impact for each one. I will spend the next few days getting set up, and, just to make it clean, I will start next Monday. I will call it the Carbon Conscious Project. I will make it the focus of this blog for the next weeks to come, and see where that takes me.