thinking outside the tank

How to convert car insurance into cavity wall insulation

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This post is a follow-up to Nil By Ear when I said I was swapping my car for a tricycle. Today was the day I handed my Prius back to Toyota Financial Services. As much as anything, the photographs above are to show that it was in good condition when it left me.

I feel an inexplicable lightness – but then maybe it can be explained by the realisations that: a) I won’t be pumping all that carbon dioxide into the air, b) I won’t be incurring the running costs of a car, and c) I’ll be healthier for walking and cycling everywhere.

Continuing the theme of taking individual responsibility for my carbon footprint, I’ll be spending the refund of the car insurance policy that I’ve just cancelled on the cavity wall insulation that will be installed tomorrow morning.

The article in George Monbiot’s blog last week looks to me more like an excuse to do nothing. He seems to be forwarding the argument, based on an experiment at the University of Toronto, that we licence ourselves to be greedy and to perform environmentally unfriendly acts by taking a few small-scale green actions. He’s more in favour of allowing the politicians – the ones with two houses, two jags, and who never admit to ‘wrong-doing’ – to make the decisions for us and to tell us what to do.

I believe we can, and should, make decisions for ourselves about how we behave. Putting a cross on a ballot paper every 4 or 5 years isn’t enough, especially when you can’t trust the people who get the power. I really hope that Copenhagen is successful, but I’m not waiting for the outcome.

Copyright © Colin Hazlehurt, 2009

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