Climate strikers should sacrifice personally before demanding sacrifice from others

By TODD MYERS  | 
Sep 20, 2019
BLOG

Today is the Global Climate Strike, and it the perfect day to tell those who believe we face a climate crisis that they need to take personal responsibility rather than hoping politicians will act. Working with other free-market advocates across the country, we created myclimatepledge.org to tell strikers how they could reduce their own CO2 footprint to zero before they demanded that others do the same.

In Seattle, a few of us went to the Amazon Climate Strike and a few things caught our attention.

First, all the signs demanded that politicians or other people do things to fight climate change. We were the only ones there offering personal solutions.

Second, many of the signs criticized Amazon for being “consumer-centric.” I have to admit, I don’t understand how Amazon employees, who owe their jobs to customers, don’t see the strange hypocrisy in holding a sign like that. They seem to believe it reflects well upon them even as they take a large paycheck from those consumers.

Finally, Amazon employees make much more than minimum wage, but working for just 4 hours at minimum wage earns enough money to invest in projects that eliminate half of the CO2 footprint of the average Washingtonian. Rather than simply walking out, employees should do what they are good at, earn a nice paycheck, and use some of the revenue from their customers to help the planet.

We released a statement today, outlining the ways personal, market-based efforts are more effective than politics at reducing environmental impact.


To Help the Planet, Don’t Wait for Politicians

Statement on the Climate Strike from Todd Myers, Environmental Director at Washington Policy Center

September 20, 2019

“The Climate Strike should be an opportunity for students and adults to learn about ways to cut CO2 emissions immediately, rather than waiting for politicians. Here are three opportunities.

“First, strikers should pledge to reduce their CO2 emissions by visiting MyClimatePledge.org. They can learn about the best ways to address climate change.

“Second, anyone can cut their own CO2 footprint to zero by investing in CO2 reduction projects offered by the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and many others. This not only helps the planet, research shows that people are more persuasive on climate policy if they’ve already cut their CO2 footprint.

“Third, there are more opportunities than ever to help the planet, many of which are available right on our cell phones. Thousands of people have given up cars and reduced air pollution by using a cell phone to renting a Car2Go. A Nest thermostat can be controlled from your phone and uses artificial intelligence to save energy. Electricity monitors like Sense – which I have in my home – send information to my phone and help show where I am using electricity and where I can save energy. These technologies help everyone reduce their environmental impact every day, not just September 20th.”