What one person can do is (and please don't go quoting Margaret Mead at me) nothing. Personal action, sacrifice, whatever, is, in quantitative terms, pointless. Flog the car and it's wiped out by the family next door who swoop on your empty parking place to buy an extra motor. The plane still flies even if you're not on it. And so on.
Despite this, these sorts of thing are still worth doing because of their symbolic value.
To put it bluntly, they give you preaching rights. If we are really proposing that, say, aviation cannot continue in its present form and extent, then, if we want that proposal to be taken in the least bit seriously, we have to show that we take it seriously ourselves.
'Taking it seriously' means that we understand the implications and are demonstrating this by our actions. We are performing a small personal experiment as to what it might be like to live in a carbon-constrained world and this shows that we are taking our own opinions seriously.
Personal action is an important form of communication.
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