Can I make a difference

I’m not a climate warrior. But gradually I have been becoming sensitised to the climate emergency. I’ve been reading and reviewing books like Naomi Klein’s ‘This changes everything’ and they have shifted my outlook. I’ve always been a cyclist. Sadly during the last years before I retired my travels around the Anglican Communion meant that I had a terrible carbon footprint. But in Scotland I tried to use train and bus as much as I could.

One of the things which went deep for me was the Volkswagen ‘dieselgate’ scandal. In our extended family, we have had many VW’s – Passat Estates and Golfs – admired their reliability and solidity. My most recent Golf also been one of the most economical and lowest in emissions – until I found that it wasn’t.

One of the changes we have made has been to replace Alison’s 16 year old and 180000 mile Golf with a new Renault Zoe electric car. I’ll write about that in future postings. We felt that it was one of the actions which we could take in the face of the climate challenge.

But the question that troubles me is always the same – about whether any actions which I take as an individual are ever going to make any difference. Will there be fewer wildfires in California and floods in New South Wales? Will the polar bears on their ice floes rise up and salute us? In other words, is this just ‘virtue signalling’ or is it a real contribution?

I’ll write some more about living with an EV, about the shambles which is the charging network [as described in the most recent edition of Which April 2021]. And of course the big question remains about whether the future really is electric ….