The New York Daily News recently published an op-ed by Colin Beavan, the famous blogger known as “No Impact Man“, in which he accuses Americans of being “oiloholics”. Consider these facts from his piece:
We in the United States drive 20 times more miles a year than the Mexicans and twice as many as the Japanese. We use 10 times more electricity per person than the Egyptians and twice as much as the Saudis. To power this energy thirst, we each, on average, consume 10 times more oil per person than the Chinese and twice as much as the Germans. We burn seven times more coal per person than the Indians and three times more than the Brits. For all the talk of China’s climate emissions, each American still emits four times more greenhouse gas than each Chinese.
He goes on to suggest that we all take some personal responsibility in the matter:
Typically, our knee-jerk is to blame the greedy corporations and do-nothing politicians. But how much more could be accomplished if each American accepted that he or she plays a part in the problem and therefore could contribute to the solution?
I 100% agree with Mr. Beavan, and riding a bike for transportation is one of the most effective things we can do to contribute to the solution.