TAKE ACTION: are you a carbon coach in the making?

Million Carbon Coaches campaign

Dave Hampton has launched a Million Carbon Coaches campaign

Mission impossible or radical manifesto? This year Dave Hampton aims to create a million coaches to help inspire real action on climate change

If everybody thinks cutting carbon is optional, too difficult, or ‘someone else's problem', then they are on the wrong planet. We are all in this together. The Government seem unwilling or are ineffective to do what needs to be done. And sometimes frankly - so do we. When talking climate change, it is all too easy and all too common to dis-empower ourselves by entering into the blame game, ‘it's not my fault; it's those celebrities, industry, Government, the boss, the neighbours, the partner, the kids, the US, the Chinese etc., etc.'

We don't just need a Super Hero, we need billions.

Under the guise of the Carbon Coach, I have been helping prominent individuals get to grips with the relevance of their carbon footprint since 2005. Carbon coaching was a big idea six years ago, and I believe it really helped shift things forward at the time, but philosophically and psychologically, there's a risk people now avoid the issue by telling themselves they need a coach. (It's my coaches fault?) So the next big idea, rather than everybody hires a carbon coach, is everybody becomes a carbon coach.

That is why for 2012, we co-create a Million Carbon Coaches. The basic tenant is simple; you coach yourself to take steps to reduce your own carbon footprint before you seek to coach others.

The idea of a Million Carbon Coaches overturns conventional wisdom. Launched at the beginning of the year, my ‘Mission Possible' is for people all over the world to become carbon coaches on an amateur basis. In 2004, David Miliband said 'When we act together, the scale of our achievements far outstrips what any of us could achieve alone.' He is right. And at the same time we don't need politicians' permission to choose powerfully for ourselves, to simply ‘be the change' that we wish to see in the world: all alone if need be, then in thousands, then in millions, etc.

Here's the proposal:

• Get a rough handle on your carbon footprint. Use whatever resources are available to you, there are loads: none are wrong or right, however I like the carbon calculator on Resurgence.
• Great accuracy is not important, it's your honesty and your enthusiasm to size yourself up and learn about the relative size of various chunks that make up your footprint
• Take some steps in 2012 to reduce your footprint. Your choice how, what and where you make your change. If you inspire yourself, you automatically inspire others.

Imagine if the idea of voluntary carbon coaching caught on all over the world. Imagine a million people leading from the (low carbon united) front.

Although it's still early days, the million carbon coaches meme looks like it's appealing to people from many different nations. Citizens all over the world realised a long time ago that they all share one home planet, even if their leaders don't always seem to want to.

TAKE ACTION to be part of the Million Carbon Coaches: sign up here

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