Quickest Way to Make a Country go Green


Some say laws need to be passed to force people to consume less gasoline, others say we need to continue to prove the detrimental effects of CO2 emissions and others say we just need to wait till our older generations pass on. Yet, within less than a week, over 3,700 gas stations in France closed down forcing people to choose other methods of transportation without too much complaint.

No Gas !

No Gas !

How and why you might ask? Well, as I imagine many of our readers have heard, France is dealing with intense protesting against a new retirement reform. The protest is against the government’s decisions to push back the retirement age by two years. Considering that France wouldn’t be the country it is today if it’s citizens did not take to the streets in the past, it is astonishing how accepting the French are of the inconvenience the protesting causes.

As stated by Allan Cauet, a resident of Nantes, “While around 15% of the French population is participating in the protesting and strikes, this small group has still drastically impacted the daily lives of all French citizens. “ Although, the panic buying was blamed for a 50% increase in fuel sales last week, this week a representative of Exxon Mobil stated that the impact of the blockage was climbing to a “critical crisis.” The question is, is that “critical” for the gas mongrels or for the general population?

Considering that an average Renault (an European car) produces an average C02 output of 169.5/km, the lack of petroleum has radically lowered the CO2 output in France in the past week. Instead of depending on one’s car, people are comfortable to take the city transportation, to ride their bike or to even walk over an hour to get to their desired destinations.

Coming from the environmentally progressive city of Portland, I was still extremely surprised to realize how lavishly a majority of Portlanders use their cars. Instead, I think it is time we learn some abstract lessons from the French Protest mentality.  First off, mankind as a whole needs to be more accepting of others; and secondly, we need to acknowledge that we need to look at the larger picture rather than just the personal convenience of our own cars.

Everyday that the protests and strikes continue is another day that people are not excessively wasting gasoline and emitting more toxic CO2 into our atmosphere.  Francoise Michelle, a 55-year-old Marseille resident very simply stated for Insurance Journal, “Transport, the rubbish, the nurses, the teachers, the workers, the white collar, everyone who works, we should all be united. If there is no transport today, we’re not all going to die from it.”

Even though people all over the world live as though it would be the end of the world if there was no individual means of transportation tomorrow, I believe it’s time we find a way to think communally about how our actions will impact this world as a whole

Date Added: October 29, 2010 | Comments Off | Filed under: Carbon Offset,Current Events,Uncategorized — Tags: , , — treeinabox @ 7:42 pm

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