Within our Earthchurch group we have a wide diversity of ecological footprints. In my opinion we need to welcome them all. We have two people who have a very low EF. They have a lifestyle based on walking and bicycling, and a minimum of purchasing new things. Jay wrote about that when we were discussing saving money and helping the planet. At the other end we have some members who have a high EF lifestyle, living in large homes, putting lots of miles on large vehicles, taking a couple of plane trips each year, and buying lots of stuff. The rest of us are spread across the EF spectrum. My own EF is in the middle, perhaps a little less than the north American average. That's mostly because I'm retired and don't drive to work every day. I own a small car, but I also walk and bicycle quite a bit. I don't buy a lot of stuff. I haven't flown since April of 2001, but that's because it's become such a hassle. I hate waiting in lines. Also, I like it where I am.
We need members all across the EF spectrum. Our long term goal is to help change the mind set of many millions of people, worldwide. That's what it will take to rescue the biosphere. If we were to restrict our membership to those who are already living a low EF life, we would fail in that endeavor. The high EF people represent the mainstream, at least in north America. Furthermore, the high EF people typically are more influential than the low EF people. Our
community leaders, of all kinds, are almost always very high EF people. This is true worldwide. An extreme example is Al Gore. He has brought his ecological message to more people than perhaps anyone, and he also lives a very high EF lifestyle.
There is no possible way that we can convince millions of people to quickly shift from a high to a low EF lifestyle. They LIKE their high EF lifestyle. So we need to take a long term approach, and hope to change things over the next decade or two, or three. The low EF people serve as an example, perhaps a model, for the direction that human beings need to move. Our members who are currently high EF can also take a long term view, and look toward lowering their
EF gradually, over the coming decades. Perhaps they will buy a small car next time. Perhaps they will install a solar water heating system. Given a long term viewpoint, there are many things they can do.
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