Rick Mercer (of This hour has 22 minutes fame, host of Monday Report and Talking to Americans) has signed on as the spokesdude for The One Tonne Challenge. Every Canadian, in order to meet our Kyoto responsibilities and....well, be just a little bit smarter, is being asked to cut our Green House Gas emmisions (GHGs) by one tonne. The average Canadian produces 5 tonnes of GHGs every year. (The average American produces even more..about six tonnes). We are already a very low emitting family. ( I know what some of you are thinking. You're thinking "Why Steph, if you guys already are meeting the goal, why would you cut back even more?" Good point, but I'm trying to make up for the weenies who have their air conditioning set so low that they need sweaters in the house, (though I am usually very pro sweater) and still can't imagine anything they could give up). In fact, when I saw Rick on the TV asking me to do my bit, I hustled over to the website and looked at the suggestions for cutting back. We were already doing most of it...and the only thing that we could really do to cut further was to give up the air conditioning.
We have a little window air conditioner that we run to cool our whole wee house. It works great, but really, we pondered, was it necessary? Did we really, really need one? Considering how short the summer is, that we have many fans....did we really, really need to be wreaking the planet for the sake of a little bit of comfort?
No way. We nobly sucked it up and didn't install it this year. Rick, we are onside with this whole plan let me tell you.
Then it got hot. Stupid hot. Record breaking hot. It's been so hot here that you can't breathe. (Or that may be the record breaking smog alerts...hard to tell really.) So far this summer we have had 16 heat alerts (10 extreme heat alerts). Temperatures are hovering around the 35 degree mark (that's 95 for my American friends) and because the humidity has been relentless and hair enlarging, the humidex temperature has been reading in the 40's. (105). We are sticky. We are miserable. We have been taking cold baths and trying to lie still with a fan blowing on us all day. I took a book on a Raw Food diet out of the library to avoid turning on the stove. Our long haired black cat hasn't moved from the tile of the kitchen in days. We are getting nothing done, feeling ill, and Rick? We can't do it.
Now, I cannot tell you how much guilt I feel about letting Rick and the planet down, (Rick? Is your air on?) and I am simply bitter about the irony that I am being forced by climate change to contribute to climate change, but this morning Joe and I installed the air conditioner and I have to tell you....it is good. If the overtaxed hydro system burns out later this afternoon, plunging all of Toronto into a powerless blackout that lasts for hours....
It will have been worth the sweet hours working on my laptop seated directly in front of the merciful air conditioner. Take me, I'm yours.
So I'm sorry Rick, but I had no choice...
It was too hot to knit.