Earth Day

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I meant to post this yesterday, cut didn't get around to it. What are you doing to fight climate change?

Today is Earth Day. The theme this year is climate change.

It’s pretty obvious that the climate of the earth is changing – we are experiencing more violent storms and higher average temperatures, the oceans are warmer and the polar ice is melting.

I believe that human activities are causing, or accelerating, this change. The climate on earth has changed before, but never as rapidly as since humans starting using fossil fuels to power their electrical plants and automobiles.

I read an interesting book some time ago called Collapse by Jared Diamond. He writes about the collapse of previous civilizations, such as those that flourished on Greenland and Easter Island. Diamond says, very convincingly, that these societies collapsed after they cut down all the trees. Trees also take carbon dioxide from the air; so fewer trees mean more carbon in the atmosphere and more warming. Will we cut down enough trees to cause an earth-wide collapse of civilization? It’s possible.

Diamond also speaks of the problems associated with the United States’ addiction to big cars and big, climate-controlled homes. He says the real problem is that the developing world wants the same cars and homes. He suggests we imagine what the world will look like when every Chinese family owns an SUV and every residence on the sub continent of India is air-conditioned. Even if the US froze their carbon emissions where they are today, would the rest of the world also freeze theirs? It’s going to be difficult to say, “We will keep our cars and air-conditioning, thank you, but you can’t have the same things because of global warming.”

Our Congress could set strict fuel efficiency standards for vehicles and institute a carbon tax to help control carbon emissions from power plants, but I don’t see that happening any time soon. So I’m not sure what we can do, except make small changes individually to use less fuel, and to save as many trees as we can.

My kids are doing their part. My daughter does not own a car. She depends on public transportation. My son has volunteered to help a group that plants and tends trees in California. They are both moving to smaller, more efficient apartments this summer.

I have enough trees in my back yard to call it a carbon sink. I drive a small car. Other than that, I can only pray that the world wakes up to the problem of climate change before it gets much worse.

I don’t have any poems about climate change, so I am sharing one, just for fun, about squirrels.

Another Squirrel Tale

With them being all around my house
and even coming in at times,

how could I not have another squirrel
caper to report?

What I wanted to say of them was, that
I think they can give blessings. Surely
they are like little angels nesting in trees,
who like nuts.

I think they might even be able to
foretell winning lottery numbers, or
point out a good person to date, if you
are lonely.

But you have to be kind to them, or
they will never divulge they can talk.

From A Year With Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    sing it, i totally agree

    we use water from the kitchen in the plants, compost kitchen scrapes, compost garden plants, share a car, bicycle when we can, walk when we can, donate to enviro groups and get more and more educated on gl warming
    3006 days ago
    well, I recycle everything and I mean everything (even those plastic bags from roanges, I will crochet them into usuable items: bags and art.) I reuse paper towels after I use them , will save them in a bucket to reuse for wiping up messes on the floor, like a spill or dogs mess; double duty!) I also plant things. I wish I could plant more trees but my lot is very small. But I am trying to encouarge others to at least plant two trees on their rpoperty! (You are right about trees being cut down before a counyry is decimated!) Too many trees are demolished, and we should plant two more for each one that is destroyed!) (I learned that Christmas fir trees use up more oxygen so dont plant those! Plant shade trees. The bigger the better! )

    People may call me a clown because of all I do to conserve , save and recycle, but I do my best not to use more than needed of anything. I feel we will be accountable. I also buy used clothing and shoes , except for underwear its all I buy new! I save all recycleables and recycle them too, we have a service that recycles. Sometimes I will reuse items like plastic before I recycle. I make templates out of many things for my arts and crafts. I also make my own envelopes from old calendars and such. I use the kleenex boxes for my arts and crafts. (You can make book marks from the pretty ones, or booklet folders for journals and the like; and can use other artsy things in scrapbooks. I save all the arts and crafts from magazines and recycle magazines among other paper things, and will even take some magazines to Drs offices or the hospital; a savings I am sure they aprpeciate! I feel every but helps save the earth! Its on going for me.

    I also save rain water for my garden! Investing in a few containers to collect rain in does help! (I am learning how to conserve water and reuse water when I can. I take the water from boiled eggs or veggies and pour it into my garden , so its like you hit two birds with one stone, because the boiled water once cooled off from cooking your veggies can provide some fertilizer for your plants! (I use my old cooking oil to make soap and also to kill weeds along the cracks; saving me form buying weed killer, ( you just cant use it in the garden areas. But it keeps the cracks clear of weeds. (But dont put it where you or someone else walks! ) Every little bit helps! susana emoticon
    3010 days ago
    After having 6 kids, I thought I should make an extra effort not to add anymore to the burden I had placed on the earth. I chose to use old things rather than buying new as much as possible. We combine trips to save on gas. That said, I'm planning a flight to California next week that will cost more in energy use than all of the rest of my savings for the year. How do you travel? Is train travel more environmentally sound? Soon, five of my kids will be in the same town which will help me to drive and fly less.
    3012 days ago
    I watched a movie called Dirt (on Netflix). It said that if we all started replanting now, in ten years we would have enough trees to help fight all the changes going on. I wish more people would watch it and see what we are doing to our planet.
    3014 days ago
    Great blog. Thanks
    3014 days ago
    I am passionate about reusing/recycling. At home I am very conscientious about composting, recylcing, re-using. Our trash bin rarely gets filled any more. I've also gotten off the consumer treadmill. Instead of recreational shopping, I only buy what I really need, and to the extent possible I buy used. In fact, I LOVE Craigslist for that. Also I live in the city, so there is a lot of trash laying about. When I walk the dog I pick up recyclables from the street and bring them home to my recycle bin--so it doesn't go in trash and go to the landfill. HAPPY EARTH DAY!
    3016 days ago
    We both walk to work and use the car only when needed. I don't know that we are doing it for environmental reasons as much the fact that we live and work in the city, and much prefer to do things by foot and public transportation.
    3017 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8522718
    We are slowly destroying the world, day by day!
    3018 days ago
    Great blog!
    3018 days ago
  • JUNEAU2010
    Love the squirrels!

    Living in the Bay Area has opened my eyes to a lot of things. I recycle/freecycle and do everything I reasonably can.

    Thanks for this powerful blog!
    3018 days ago
    Absolutely..... this is important.

    We recycle, bicycle, walk, use rain barrels and compost our kitchen cuttings. Our kids learned to do the same. I drive a diesel vw passat our daughter & SIL bought a diesel jetta. We both get about 40mpg on the highway. My daughter, is a teacher and they are educating the children about environmentally sound practices in school.

    This does need to be a worldwide initiative. The US can be a leader by example.
    3019 days ago
    It is true; squirrels can talk!

    Global warming and climate change is an important issue, and I agree with you that I don't think our government is going to be of any help.

    You are right about the younger generation, though. Both my sons and their wives are carefully recycling and composting. They drive hybrid cars. They buy organic fruits and vegetables for their little ones. They are doing things every day to reduce their carbon footprint. Some of it is rubbing off on my husband and me, but I do think it's our kids who are taking the lead with this.
    3019 days ago
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