We have a such a high quality of life in the United States thanks to the marvelous inventions that are directly related to our energy usage. Computers, washers and dryers, microwave ovens, refrigerators, healing and cooling system, cell phones, televisions, automobiles, and devices that are easily found in our homes indeed enrich our lives. However, do you know that every second we enjoy the comfort of our lives, we contribute to the climate change? Yes, we are culprits of the climate change and we do not seem to care much about it. We often diffuse our responsibilities by thinking “Corporate America is the biggest culprit. The amount of energy I consume for personal use is a tip of iceberg.” It also is a true statement on an individual level, but when we combine amount of consumption of all individuals, we are not so innocent unfortunately.
According to United States Environmental Protection Agency, electricity generation and transportation account for 67% of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States (Greenhouse Gas, n.d.). Carbon dioxide, one of greenhouse gases that cause the climate change, is emitted from combusting fossil fuels to generate electricity, biomass, and gasoline or diesel. It appears that it is inevitable not to use the energy to function our daily routines such as from taking a shower in the morning to take this course online. While policy makers, researchers who are associated with coal or oil industries, and environmental activists are diligently working to reduce the greenhouse gases and pollutions (Lesson 13: Social Change/Participatory, n.d.), we, as members of communities, have responsibilities to retard the process of the climate change.
First and foremost, raising awareness of the impacts and causes of the climate change should be implemented. According to Segerberg and Bennett, social media sites such as Twitter are found to be effective channels of communication to a large number of diverse people (Segerberg & Bennet, 2011). The impacts and causes of the climate change can be delivered through social media sites to educate diverse groups of people which raise awareness that the issue is directly related to us. Second, solutions of the issue which we can implement within our power should be disseminated in ways to emphasize benefits of the implementation and rewards that conduce toward positive feelings to enhance people’s intrinsic motivation such as how to reduce energy bill since less energy used produces both reduced greenhouse gases and reduced energy bill (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Environment Protection Agency (EPA) provides a number of tips to reduce the energy use as well as the energy bill on their website that can be easily done at home such as types of lightbulb to use and recycle (What You Can Do, n.d.) Lastly, marketing strategy to promote such behaviors via all channels of media can reinforce the behaviors and further initiate the change in norms.
We do not have a magic wand to fix the brewing issue to reduce the threats of the climate change, but should not be bystanders that wait until the Corporate America and government to fix the issues. Our collective efforts can make changes in the situation and societal norms that can be sustained for generations to come.
Lesson 13: Social Change/Participatory Research (n.d.) Retrieved from https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1834710/modules/items/21736701
Overview of Greenhouse Gases. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/overview-greenhouse-gases
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist,55(1), 68-78. doi:10.1037/0003-066x.55.1.68
Segerberg, A., & Bennett, W. L. (2011). Social Media and the Organization of Collective Action: Using Twitter to Explore the Ecologies of Two Climate Change Protests. The Communication Review,14(3), 197-215. doi:10.1080/10714421.2011.597250
What You Can Do at Home (n.d.). Retreived from https://www.epa.gov/climatechange/what-you-can-do-home