When I was a kid I lived in a beautiful house near the riverside, a house with a view, spacious rooms. It was an old house however, with no extended bathroom, a shower in a cupboard, with limited water warm water supply (we showered once a week), and no central heating. In winter times, when it was freezing outside, we had to wash 0urselves at a primitive basin in the freezing cold. The sleeping rooms were icy cold. In our beds were warm water bottles to make the bed warm, but even so, the sheets were feeling very cold at some other places. We had to wear socks in bed to keep the feet warm. How I hated winter!
We were relatively well to do but had no car. Once a year we traveled by train to the coast for a holiday. Before my sixteenth year I never travelled abroad, and during the years thereafter only sporadically.
Nowadays warm water comes out of the wall as much as I like. My home is centrally heated, everywhere in the house is an agreeable temperature, day and night, summer and winter. I can take a shower as long as I want. Every day I count my blessings, and a deep feeling of gratitude overwhelms me. I have a car, and I can travel everywhere. I even consider to travel once more to West-America, to see the grand canyon and the Yosemite and Seqoia parks; one of my long cherished wishes. (but maybe the ebola epidemic will get in the way)
But oh, that conscience! My ecological footprint is 5 hectare (about 12,5 acres), whereas I am only qualified for 1,8 hectare. I am not allowed to take a shower as long as I want, and taking the plane and travel by car is completely out of order. So I should shower for only 3 minutes, and only every other or even seventh day, and I should go on holiday by bike and camp. I should turn the heaters low, to 16 degrees centigrade (60 degrees), and turn the heaters off in the sleeping room.
If we all should do so, that would certainly contribute to lessen the climate problem (but not solve it). But we won’t. One of the reasons is that we know the others will not do it, and I do not want to belong to the few idiots who are doing this, but by their small number hardly make any difference (except maybe in their own minds; instead of feeling guilty they can feel righteous). And also we know that in order to really mitigate the results of global warming structural global measures are needed.
So I go on living with an inner conflict. What to do? I am still busy finding out. To be continued.
Due to a short holiday – by train, a very pleasant compromise – there will be no blog for 10 days.
(I apologize for mistakes in my English. Blogs are cursory – not stuff for correction by a native speaker).