Western Lifestyle Unsustainable, Says Climate Expert Rajendra Pachauri

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Nobel Peace Prize winning climate expert Rajendra Pachauri has warned against behaviors typical of Western lifestyles, claiming they are unrealistic in today’s time of climate concerns and crisis. Pachauri is the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and delivered his remarks just days before the Copenhagen Climate Summit began (on December 7th). Among Pachauri’s unique suggestions are that hotels in the West be held accountable for the energy their guests use, that governments tax air travel to encourage citizens to travel by land (which is a significantly lower cost and environmental impact) and also that restaurants avoid serving ice with beverages unless customers request it. The energy used by guests in hotels could be metered and then charged to guest bills, and countries could also charge rate for cars that pollute the environment more than others. Pachauri also mentioned the importance of youth in influencing government policies, claiming today’s older generation is already stuck in their ways, and younger citizens have minds that are more open to change with the environment’s best interest in mind.


Randerson, James. “Western Lifestyle Unsustainable, Says Climate Expert Rajendra

Pachauri.” The Observer. The Guardian. 29 November 2009. Web. 5 December

2009. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/29/rajendra-pachauri-climate-warning-copenhagen>.

Student Researchers: Abbey Wilson & Jillian Harbin

Faculty Instructor:  Kevin Howley

Evaluator: Tim Cope, Department of Geosciences, DePauw University