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Scott Spellerberg's story

Updated Monday, 29th November 2010

Explore the personal side of climate change with Scott Spellerberg's diary entry.

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Name: Scott Spellerberg
Organisation: Spellerberg's Translations
Role: Citizen

What first triggered your interest in environmental issues?

My grandfather was an insurance adjuster in the Great Depression trying to save farms in the US Dust bowl, so the concept of man-made climate folly was already prevalent in my family when I was born into it.

Living low on the energy budget is not a sacrifice and only appears that way to those who falsely imagine that the mainstream lifestyle is somehow meritorious or desirable. There is more satisfaction in living close to an ecologically sustainable level than there is having nagging guilt about being in constant violation and hoping some engineer will magically fix things soon.

I take satisfaction in making the effort and in doing the least harm I can.

What are you working on, concerned by, or motivated by at the moment?

Working on: trimming excess waste from my energy budget. Trying to get mountaintop coal mining stopped in Appalachia, stopping shale fracking for natural gas, stopping space tourism (a stupendously stupid idea), Concerned by: How little most people seem to think their actions matter. I cannot believe I am a species-mate of all these wasteful homo sapiens sapiens.

Motivated by: positive feedback loops. If we don't wise-up as a species, we are screwed.

What do you anticipate working on, or thinking about, in relation to environmental issues over the next 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years?

Mountaintop mining, fracking, economic inequality (yes that is very related, because without a high enough disposable income, consumers have no choice but least-cost at the present time choices, which are usually very wasteful.

How optimistic or pessimistic are you as you look at where we might be in 2020, and why?

I am very pessimistic, because no matter what happens, most people seem to shut it out and focus on something trivial, like entertainment, celebrities or sports.

Tell your story in your own words.

We have tossed out a perfectly functional oil boiler for a 90m deep-well heat-pump; installed modern thermal windows, quit flying, take public transport for >90% of all trips, conserve household water, buy the most locally made products available and do without products that have too high an energy budget, became vegetarians, use low-energy appliances, hang-dry laundry, rearranged furniture to make optimal use of sunlight/windows, bought shares in a wind farm corresponding to our electrical consumption and recycle almost everything (We in Sweden have that option).

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