Evaluate personal impact on climate change in new year

Protesters take part in a rally organized by the Cop26 Coalition in Glasgow, Scotland, demanding global climate justice, on Nov. 6.

For many, the start of a new year leads to examining our lives, to thinking about what we’ve accomplished and what we haven’t in the previous year. My Vermont roots make me think of these short days and long nights as “the November of my soul.”

My carbon reckoning has become part of this self-evaluation. With oceans rising because of the rapidly melting Antarctic ice and the United Nations’ COP26 calling for climate action, this year’s calculation feels especially significant.

But my calculated carbon footprint plays only one part in my carbon reckoning.  Evaluation of what’s happening around me — where the effects of carbon are ignored or addressed in my neighborhood, in my city or by the businesses that I use — also enters into my reckoning.

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