Thursday, November 24, 2011

My New TV Show

Title: My Not So Carbony Life (Ok, the name might need some work)

...But, I've had this idea for quite some time to create a documentary / TV series following and proving or showing the ability to live a sustainable, carbon neutral life and still be a normal, functioning, and involved member of society (ok, this is dry for a sec, hang with me).

The idea would be to build a house entirely with renewable energy and local materials or materials delivered without the use of fossil fuels.

The focus would be the demonstration of whether it is possible to
function with a similar lifestyle as what I (we) now have and to document the transition and thoughts in the process of changing (and the drama of course):
  • What is difficult about the transition and why?
  • How can people in general easily live more sustainable?
  • Is it possible to live carbon neutral?
  • Can you maintain the same lifestyle as before?
  • What are the lifestyle choices if any?
The key would be to find a sustainable number for carbon (and other gas) emissions of the planet based upon the future population (say 2050); or caveman-era standards (based upon hunting, gathering and having a fire). How much pollution / emission is sustainable for our future population requirements? What is the carbon elasticity of the planet? <- This answer is probably already out there somewhere (feel free to chime in here).

The show would start by showing me (or whomever) here, today with my lifestyle:
  • Flights on the holidays (I'm on a plane travelling from Reno to Orange County as I write this)
  • Meat involved in meals every day
  • Car used daily to get around
  • Shopping and eating out on occasion
Show the transition stages as piece by piece every little bit of life is transitioned toward a more sustainable way while attempting to live a normal life:
  • Get to work using sustainable means (EV, walk? bike? Bus?)
  • Eat more sustainable foods (hint: just because you walked to your local Whole Foods and purchased "Organic" produce doesn't make your food sustainable)
  • Not eat as much meat, but still cook great meals (or have my amazing girlfriend cook them :)
  • Build a new house? / Find living arrangements that were build sustainably or could be.
  • Evaluate decisions for the year based upon your carbon quota (to be determined above)
    • This meal cost me X carbon credits, and if I do that every day for the year, I will be over my budget...
    • Can I afford the carbon cost of this new Electric Bike? How much does that leave me for the year?
In the end I would want this live experiment to show how easy or tough it will be to get us to a lifestyle that our grandchildren's children will be able to live on and on in their own right, because right now we may be sacrificing them at the alter for our luxury. Maybe we don't see it as luxury, because we are used to it, but the last thing I would want if for my great grandchildren to look back with disgust at how much we were wasting resources away that they would kill to have in their day. If we are over-indulging then the answer will either be crash and burn or find a balance first (or the more likely, crash and burn then try to find a balance). I'd rather try to find it first so we can land on our feet for once.

What do you say? This reality TV show sounds like something that needs to happen to me...