There is no denying that the greatest challenge that we face in our fight to combat man-induced global warming is to overcome general population complacency.
Action is needed URGENTLY and that action is going to hurt in relation to our post-industrial modern comfortable lives. To those of us who have experienced these modern comforts, there is no gain environmentally without metaphorical pain. We will have to ‘suffer’ a loss of some of those comforts to gain a positive environmental effect. For even many so called environmentalists are in an act of denial at the enormity of the task set before us. Our carbon footprints are excessive and are like weight to an obese person unconcerned about their size and its consequences. To tackle obesity and to aid weight loss and reduction of food intake, calorific values of that food or ‘Cals’ are used to guide and encourage its reduction. To aid reduction in carbon emissions a carbon figure is needed to quantify the amount that is being saved. A ‘carbon activity value’ or ‘Cav’ is suggested to satisfy that need and to quantify the loss and aid reduction in CO2 produced. Just like a dieter saves his ‘cals’, an environmentalist needs to save his ‘Cavs’!
E.g. for every Km walked or cycled by an individual instead of driven by the average car is worth one Cav. This is regarded as the basic unit. By this scoring means, the public can gain a means of quantifying their saving actions that is relevant to their lives. Cavs. Are not an exact quantifying system, but act purely as a guide to encourage good practice within the general population to help save on CO2 production. They will give a numerical guide to understanding how good at saving CO2 our actions are! The woolly excuse of ‘Oh, I think I’m doing my bit to help the environment’ will no longer suffice, because it will be possible to give a quantifying guide to that effort.
If used by industry as well, the ‘Cav’ saving by industry will also then become as important as economic monetary profit figures when assessing performance, i.e. an industrial giant with high profit and low ‘Cav’ saving will be regarded less favourably than one with less monetary profit and high ‘Cav’ saving. We need a means to link the economic profit model to the environmental planet saving model. The ‘Cav’ and its saving figure could do just that. Just as dieters save on their calories, so environmentally we should all save on our ‘Cavs’
So what are ‘Cavs’?
They are very special, for they are the means to get the general population to do something on CO2 reduction. They make saving actions relevant to life and give a numerical goal to aim for and guide in our saving.
To give a simple example:
Say that An individual commutes from Gloucester to London and the distance is taken as 250 Km. In the car that is 250 Cavs.
If the train is a quarter of the CO2 emissions, then the Cav value by train would be 62.5 Cavs.
If the individual went by train rather than car they would save 250 – 62.5 = 187.5 cavs that day by changing transport mode.
By quantifying actions taken by an individual it gives encouragement to act because there is numerical value that can be given to that action. The feeling that you are actually doing something that has value gives great encouragement to taking action that will help us all reduce our carbon footprint