U.S. Leads the World … in Carbon Emissions!
The United States Government cannot be held responsible for dictating environmental legislation until the people require it. That is a democracy. We need to take more responsibility. There is clear evidence of ambivalence about climate change by Americans. As the below graph shows, not only do U.S. citizens have the highest per capita carbon footprint among the 40 largest developed economies, they are also among the lowest in level of concern about climate change.
This must be changed! Playing the Sustainable Lifestyles Game is an opportunity for Americans to lower their carbon footprint, systematically and significantly through a supportive and enjoyable process. They can show others that not only can consciously reducing one’s carbon emissions be done, that actually doing it leads to increased personal wellbeing. This is an opportunity to be an eco-hero and an American leader. This is how we change the mainstream perception that burning fossil fuels and consuming in excess of the earth’s available resources is desirable given our current reality.
Increase Your Wellbeing
By design, players can realize significant benefits in wellbeing by simply playing. The harder one tries, the greater the benefits one realizes. For example, most people do not want to see increasingly deadly wildfires, floods, famine, water scarcity and ensuing conflicts. Through news reports they see and hear about lives lost. Drawing the connection between excess CO2e emissions and the increasing frequency and severity of these events occurs automatically. Climate scientists have been communicating this information for decades.
Most people do not want to be responsible by continuously contributing to the source of these problems – too much CO2e emissions. So, by consciously reducing one’s contribution to the root cause – excess GHG emissions – players will feel good inside, in their heart. This is an example of aligning one’s actions with their values (such as equanimity, kindness, caring for others) and it’s a powerful example of how living more harmoniously with nature can generate internal joy. Positive emotion, along with Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment are the five most significant characteristics of the optimal human life. These five attributes of the ‘flourishing life’ are scientifically validate by Martin Seligman, one of the founders of the positive psychology field. This PERMA philosophy has been designed into the creation of the Sustainable Lifestyles Game. Players are provided numerous opportunities through playing the game to build and strengthen their own PERMA characteristics.
Why play the Sustainable Lifestyles Game? You can decrease your emissions, thereby reducing the chances your actions will contribute to lives lost all around the world. At the same time, playing the game will encourage you to increase your own PERMA characteristics, thereby increasing your personal wellbeing.
The Temperature Increase Is Accelerating
If you haven’t been following the climate change news closely, here is a brief snapshot on temperature.
Guardian columnist George Monbiot …
“This, on current trends, will be the hottest year ever measured. The previous record was set in 2015; the one before in 2014. Fifteen of the 16 warmest years have occurred in the 21st Century. Each of the past 14 months has beaten the global monthly temperature record.”
The Purse is Mightier Than the Pen
Gorge Monbiot, August 4, 2016
The World Meteorological Organization…
“Global temperatures for the first six months of this year shattered yet more records, and mean that 2016 is on track to be the world’s hottest year on record.
“Another month, another record. And another. And another. Decades-long trends of climate change are reaching new climaxes, fuelled by the strong 2015/2016 El Niño,” said World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
Global Climate Breaks New Records January to June 2016
World Meteorological Organization
“August was the hottest August on record for both land and oceans, according to data from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting. NASA said that August 2016 tied with July 2016 as the hottest month ever recorded. The year to date has smashed all existing temperature records.”
Extraordinary Global Heat Continues
World Meteorological Organization
While some of the 2016 heat was connected to the 2015 El Nino, by May 2016 that was no longer the case. Excess CO2e emissions is solely driving these increases now. The amount of temperature increase in the first half of 2016 is staggering. And, unfortunately, these recent heat spikes are a continuation and probable acceleration of the devastating news reported in the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported in, its most recent and comprehensive, Assessment Report 5.
The below chart, from IPCC AR5, shows the potential range of temperature rises under different likely scenarios, which are based on different assumptions. The wide range of possibilities encompass the most likely projection temperature rise that Planet Earth will experience over time. For me, the most concerning aspect of this chart is the black (historical) line. That’s factual data that has already happened. If you look closely, you see the slope of the line segment from the year 2000 to 2010 is more pitched than it has been for any other period.
The current record-shattering temperature increases combined with IPCC Assessment Report are truly alarming. For any reasonable human being, it is well past time to act — to start reducing their personal emissions as much and as quickly as possible.