Op-Ed: Averting Climate Catastrophe Means Rethinking Our Transportation Habits

Given a recent dire report on climate change from the IPCC, Laura Bliss underscores the point that those who have the ability to do so should make changes to how they get around, and pronto.
October 11, 2018, 9am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released a report effectively laying out the small odds we'll manage to avoid extreme effects of climate change. In light of those findings, Laura Bliss makes the case that individual action can still make a difference. She writes, "the IPCC also makes clear that no action will make things far worse. And it describes critical areas where habits and individual decisions—'demand-side mitigation and behavioural changes,' in the words of the IPCC report—can make an difference."

In the U.S., Bliss says, the current healthy economy is driving up transportation emissions, even as they decline from other sectors. "Even at the local level, where some of the most promising action of carbon emissions have emerged in the era of Trump, the arrows are not pointing in the right direction. Transit use is declining and new vehicle-based modes increasingly populate the roads."

Given that state of affairs, "those with the ability to decide whether to drive, walk, scoot, hail an Uber, take the bus, or book a flight are the critical agents in the mode shifts the IPCC describes."

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Published on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 in CityLab
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