It’s a book!: On Living the 1.5 Degree Lifestyle

It hits the shelves from New Society Publishers on September 14th; the story of my year trying to emit less than 2.5 tonnes of CO2e, and why everyone should be doing this. I have started a separate, special website for the book here.

I will be using this site to display all the archived posts I wrote about aging baby boomers that were deleted when the Mother Nature Network closed, which may be the basis of my next book. It is certainly a subject I have experience with!

Baby boomers will be among the hardest hit by climate change

(And no, they won’t all be dead before its effects hit us all hard.) From MNN, February 2019

Greta Thunberg and young activists. Where are the old ones? (Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

The 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg complains about older generations: “You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.” Bruce Gibney, in “A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America,” wrote “Unlike acid rain, which had immediate impacts on Boomers’ quality of life and was therefore swiftly addressed, climate change is a problem whose consequences will fall most heavily on other generations, so far too little has been done.”

Continue reading “Baby boomers will be among the hardest hit by climate change”

It’s all about the numbers

I started keeping a spreadsheet of my carbon footprint earlier this year, but it was inconsistent and spotty; it is hard to be enthusiastic about this during a pandemic when every single day was exactly the same as the one before. But I did use the time to find more data, refine the numbers, and as of 1 August have started fresh. Basically, everything that I do that has a footprint and that is variable is tracked daily.

It’s a book!


I am pleased and honoured to announce a contract with New Society Publishers, who have a “mission is to publish books for a world of change in a way that has a minimum impact on our environment.” Tentatively titled The 1.5 Degree Diaries, it will follow my path to understanding the importance of this number, and trying to live a life in tune with it.

Earlier posts from another life: There’s big money in aging baby boomers

When a reporter asked famous bank robber Willie Sutton why he did it, he supposedly said “Because that’s where the money is.” Joseph Coughlin of the MIT AgeLab (and author of “The Longevity Economy” reviewed in MNN here) writes behind a paywall in Barrons about where the money is now, and how people are continuing to miss this opportunity.

Source: There’s big money in aging baby boomers | MNN – Mother Nature Network

There are 2 keys to successful aging: Exercise and friends | MNN – Mother Nature Network

Our landline rarely rings unless it’s a robot or someone in Bangalore wanting to clean my ducts or fix my Windows computer. (I have radiators and a Mac.) But this was a human voice I recognized, saying “I died the other day, but they brought me back!”

Source: There are 2 keys to successful aging: Exercise and friends | MNN – Mother Nature Network

Why do millennials drive less than boomers? | MNN – Mother Nature Network

A new survey published by Arity, a tech spinoff from Allstate, finds that baby boomers’ attitudes about driving are different than those of millennials, but that both cohorts are spending too much time in their cars. The average American spends 335 hours in the car each year driving 6,000 miles, the equivalent of a round trip from New York to Los Angeles.

Source: Why do millennials drive less than boomers? | MNN – Mother Nature Network

Boomers and e-bikes were made for each other | MNN – Mother Nature Network

Almost a year ago I wrote that we should worry about boomers on e-bikes, noting that “older, male Dutch e-bikers are dying in shocking numbers.” It turned out not to be entirely true; statistically it had nothing to do with the e-bikes. Older people fall more often, but e-bikes don’t appear to be any worse than regular bikes or even walking

Source: Boomers and e-bikes were made for each other | MNN – Mother Nature Network

Baby boomers aren’t buying senior housing | MNN – Mother Nature Network

Baby boomers aren’t ready for retirement homes- yet.

Almost 20 years ago, Canadian demographer David Foot wrote “Boom, Bust and Echo,” in which he claimed that “demographics explains two-thirds of everything — whether the subject is business planning, marketing, human resources, career planning, corporate organization, the stock market, housing, education, health, recreation, leisure, and social and global trends.” One of the lessons in that book was to follow the baby boomers, the oldest of whom are now 72 and the youngest 58. Source: Baby boomers aren’t buying senior housing | MNN – Mother Nature Network

Want an age-friendly place to live? Move to the big city

What older people want isn’t that different from every other age bracket.

People in their 70s and 80s are the fastest-growing segment of the population, and despite all of the promotion of retirement communities in the Sunbelt, a new study from Welltower shows that most older people (and 80 percent of baby boomers) who live in cities want to stay where they are. The main reason appears to be access to good health care in the long term, but after that, the most important criteria relate to relationships — “they want to gather with friends, family and grandchildren. And finally, it’s the variety of urban scenic areas and walkways, other outdoor recreation, cultural experiences, shopping and restaurants that cities have to offer.” Source: Want an age-friendly place to live? Move to the big city | MNN – Mother Nature Network

Older pedestrians are dying on our roads

‘Shared responsibility’ is code for it’s always the pedestrian’s fault — but that doesn’t work when you’re talking about aging boomers.

Driving a car is so difficult these days; it seems that whenever you get behind the wheel, someone leaps in front of you. That’s why so many safety campaigns these days are pushing the idea of “shared responsibility.”

Source: Older pedestrians are dying on our roads | MNN – Mother Nature Network

Why I said goodbye to my Miata

After 22 years, the world has changed — and so have I.

Driving is also like everything else in life; you need to practice to stay good at it. I bike everywhere in the city; My wife Kelly does all the long-distance driving now in our Subaru. I prefer to look at the surroundings and my phone, and when I do get behind the wheel, I realize that I’ve become a terrible driver, that I’m totally out of practice.

Source: Why I said goodbye to my Miata | MNN – Mother Nature Network

​Is nostalgia stealing our kids’ future? 

Sure we were eating spam and dad had Black Lung Disease but we were happy.

Where I live, in Toronto, Canada, a “right wing populist” has just been elected the premier of the second largest government in the country with an economy as big as Switzerland’s. Two of the key items in his platform are to roll back the sex education curriculum to 1998, and to bring back beer for a buck. He’s also rolling back gas prices, perhaps nostalgic for the time when you drove down Main Street drinking beer and learned about sex in the back seat.

Source: Is nostalgia stealing our kids’ future? | MNN – Mother Nature Network

This plan proves the open kitchen should die

Tell me again why anyone being stuck in the kitchen all day is a good thing?

You’ve probably seen this image before; it has been doing the rounds on the internet, usually presented as proof that big, open kitchens are wonderful and dining rooms are vestigial and useless. But in fact it is from a study that shows exactly the opposite. “Parents’ comments on these spaces reflect a tension between culturally situated notions of the tidy home and the demands of daily life. The photographs reflect sinks at various points of the typical weekday, but for most families, the tasks of washing, drying, and putting away dishes are never done. … Empty sinks are rare, as are spotless and immaculately organized kitchens. All of this, of course, is a source of anxiety. Images of the tidy home are intricately linked to notions of middle-class success as well as family happiness, and unwashed dishes in and around the sink are not congruent with these images.”

Source: This plan proves the open kitchen should die | MNN – Mother Nature Network