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Voting teal is all very well but curbing our lifestyles to save the planet is crucial |

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Tony Abbott. Donald Trump. Adani. Scott Morrison. Jair Bolsonaro. Shell. George W Bush. George HW Bush. Saudi Aramco.

These are just some of the names rightly called out by media in recent years for their contribution to, or stalling of action to prevent, climate change.

But there’s another contributor you don’t read nearly as much about: me. Or if not me specifically, people like me. Middle-class consumers around the world who have shown marginal interest in curbing our lifestyles to address a warming planet.

Even those of us with the best intentions remain a significant part of the problem. Nowhere is this more evident than in what I call the teal paradox.

After years of stalled climate action, it came as sweet relief to many when the Coalition was ousted in May, with six seats falling to community independents. The irony of the teals’ success is that it occurred in some of our highest emitting electorates, when you consider the consumption rather than production of carbon.

In 2017, for example, researchers from the University of NSW calculated the carbon footprints of…

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