This, my friends, is why we are probably just not going to have a planet that is inhabitable by 6 billion humans for many more generations. Perhaps middle class Americans don’t really care much since the people who die or suffer greatly will probably be either from so-called developing countries, or will be poor or minority, like those folks down in New Orleans and surrounding areas.
So, the following quote: “Ambitious as it sounded, it was, amazingly, not excessive. I could keep living generally the way I wanted,” comes from “The Energy Diet,” an article in The New York Times written by Andrew Postman. He writes about how he cut down on his CO2 usage. Which is nice. Truly. But the point is of the article is that it can be EASY, and you can keep your cool flat screen TV and light bulbs that you like. You, TOO, can cut your emissions with very little effort and – bada-bang, bada-boom – you’ve done your part, by golly.
The thing is that easy stuff will not cut it. I don’t want to discourage small changes, because all changes help to slow down the deaths of millions of people. SLOW DOWN. Get it? It is still happening and will just get worse unless we start calling for RADICAL CHANGE very very soon – like yesterday. There will be more tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and destruction of the environment that results in D-E-A-T-H. I’m not trying to be nasty, but I feel like there is the sense like, “Oh, gosh. We’ll lose some of the rainforest. Or a glacier. They are really so lovely. That’s too bad.” But see, when glaciers melt, that raises the ocean levels and FLOODS places where people are living. This is not about the lovely oceans and beautiful forests. We are dealing with many many human lives. Not in the future, but NOW. People are dying NOW because of pollution, weather, etc. caused by our un-care of the environment. I just find it so frustrating that people are so chill about the whole thing. In many ways, it isn’t their fault. Mr. Gore (and so many others who have had the potential to call for radical change) failed to call for what is REALLY needed. At the risk of offending people, or asking too much, he settled. Maybe this is part of a grand strategy and soon part II will come out that will point out that by the time everyone figures out how to use new, energy efficient light bulbs it will be too late… but I’m not holding my breath.
I know this is an usually sarcastic post. But I just get so frustrated with the articles like “The Energy Diet” that somehow portray that if we all just do a little, it will all be okay. The thing is, that is just wrong. We all need to do A LOT. I am including myself in this. I am not an environmental diva, okay? I need to do more. But at least I’m not patting myself on the back for that which I do DO, and thinking that it will really save the planet. Someone needs to build on Al Gore’s very nice first step and somehow convey the seriousness of the issue. Hey, wouldn’t it be nice if political leaders could do that? Like the president? Or, governors or something? Instead, they leave that up to “those nutty environmentalists” who are just trying to scare everyone into supporting their special interest hippie tree hugging stuff.
p.s. Apologies for fewer bloggings these days. School has begun. Church has reactivated after the summer down time. Ph.D. applications are coming due. But I promise more is to come in the future, including statistics and sources so you realize all my huffing and puffing is not just hot air rantings. One good source that I have found is The World Watch Institute. And, perhaps read the report The Death of Environmentalism. Very helpful in realizing the ways that the environmentalism movement has done a bad job so far, despite great intentions.