I'm conservative, and I believe in markets. Except when they don't work. One of the reasons that markets fail is that the people making the decisions don't really experience the full consequences of their decisions.
For example, Johnny likes burritos, but they give him gas. Johnny lost his sense of smell, so he thinks that they don't smell. But he works in a call center, where people all sit next to each other. When he has burritos for dinner, all of his coworkers can smell it. Of course, nobody will tell him that he smells after burritos, because that's kinda awkward. Without the knowledge that his burritos are causing his coworkers to choke to the very edge of death, Johnny eats three every Tuesday and Thursday. Since he's not suffering, he doesn't even consider the pain that his beany burritos inflict on his coworkers.
There, now you understand what economists call "externality". Somebody makes a decision without personally experiencing all of the costs or benefits.
I think our lifestyle is kinda like this. We love our big houses, big cars, and big tvs (I know that I do!). And since this whole climate change catastrophe may be decades or even a century away, I don't really consider it in my decisions. After all, nobody can tell me exactly how bad it will be, and many people are somewhat uncomfortable about it anyway.
So like burrito-eating Johnny, I'm enjoying my consumerism and energy-heavy lifestyle.
But I believe that if Johnny were simply aware of the impact of his decisions, he might make different decisions. Maybe he'll only eat one burrito, or maybe he'll change his burrito nights to Saturday and Sunday (homemade, of course). Maybe he'll visit a doctor and get his plumbing checked out. Maybe he'll walk outside to allow the burrito's effects to dissipate - away from his coworkers.
There are tons of choices for Johnny!
And there should be some choices for me. I don't know what choices I'll make yet, but I am trying to consider the impacts of the things I do. Some little things I've already been doing include reusing my nalgene when I have it nearby, CFLs throughout our home, LIVING on cruise control, and considering my electricity usage when setting the thermostat. I would like to say that I reuse shopping bags, carpool or mass transit, and drive more efficiently.
However, I know that individual actions are practically negligible. So that's why I support people who find ways to get lots of people to do what's right.
Although I generally don't like the Sierra Club, they have an invitation to cut your carbon output by 2% this year. Seriously, 2% is nothing. Swap out a 5 pack of lightbulbs with CFLs, and you've done it. And for the pledge, you get this Missy Higgins track as a pat on the back. And on top of that, for the next 5+ years, your bank account will thank you when you get your power bills.
So check out http://missypledge.warnerbrosrecords.com/.