Ethical Man is reborn
London, UK - We all know the green mantras. Change your lightbulbs, recycle, fly less, buy a hybrid car, turn down the thermostat. The list goes on and on.
But here's the rub. On their own they are never going to be enough to stop global warming.
I know it is green heresy but it is true. How do I know? Because I am the BBC's Ethical Man and my family and I spent a year doing everything we could think of to reduce our carbon emissions.
We did all the big stuff. We stopped flying, got rid of the car and changed the way we heat and power our home. Here's a snapshot of our ethical year:
But we only managed to cut our carbon emissions by 20%. That's right, just 20%.
Remember, according to the scientists we need to cut our emissions by 80% by 2050 just to keep climate change within two degrees centigrade of current world temperatures.
Clearly even the best efforts of ethical men and women on their own will not be enough to prevent global warming.
So the BBC has given me a new and bigger challenge, nothing less than to save the world from climate change!
I'm going on a 6,500 mile trip around the nation that brought the world the motor car, the aeroplane, the suburb, the drive-thru hamburger joint and the hot tub, in search of solutions to the biggest problem on earth.
Each American is responsible for 20 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, more than twice that of the average European. But America is also the most innovative and powerful nation on earth and, what's more, has a president who says he is serious about tackling global warming.
The idea is simple. If we can solve global warming here, we can solve it anywhere.
We've sketched a rough schedule. We'll be starting in a small town in Michigan called Muskegon, and then we'll trace a giant circle round via Detroit, Washington, Texas, California and back to Muskegon.
We've lined up all sorts of people to speak to but we need more. We want to meet people who are already trying to find the answers the world needs.
Who do you think we should be talking to?
Do you have any ideas about how we might make the massive changes to our societies that will be necessary to cut greenhouse gas emissions?
Do you know anyone who is working in their garage on some crazy invention that might just save the world?
And I've got another, rather more personal request. Because I'm travelling as the BBC's Ethical Man I've been ordered to keep my environmental impact to an absolute minimum.
Of course I'm going to fly from Britain, but after that my producer Sara insists that I have to get around in the most low carbon way possible. I have downloaded the Greyhound bus timetable and am looking at what trains I might catch... but how else can I get around?
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I plan to post regular reports as I travel around America, and want to stimulate a vigorous debate about whether we can, or indeed should, attempt to build a low-carbon economy.
You can find out more about my last Ethical Man project here.