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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

April 13, 2007

step up to the mirror

Filed under: viewpoint — David Giacalone @ 4:25 pm

        Most readers of the weblog are already at least vaguely aware that, in the words of a recent article in The Nation (“Step It Up 2007,” April 9, 2007):

StepItUpLogo  On Saturday, April 14, at more than 1,300 simultaneous events coast to coast, Americans of different hues and views will call for such large-scale changes by imploring Congress to enact immediate cuts in carbon emissions and pledge an 80 percent reduction by 2050.

You can read much more about the event at the organizers’ website,  Included are materials or links on topics such as Will Congress Listen?, what bills are currently pending, and how “How Can We Cut Carbon by 80% by 2050?.”  The SIU2007 weblog notes that much of the nation may have stormy weather tomorrow, but insists that demonstrations and activities will go on rain or shine.  The goal — and the expectation — is to have the largest environmental protest since Earth Day 1970. 

Earth Day —
recycled bottles
in a three-car garage

……………………………………… by dagosan earthSG  

       I hope the event is a big success — and that it will attract many people beyond the usual contingent of students and gray ponytails.   It is going to take a huge demonstration of broad (and deep) support for global warming solutions to ensure that Congress takes more than symbolic action.  Likewise, it will take continued scrutiny to make sure that Congress doesn’t simply decide to spend billions of dollars to keep agribusiness and other lobby groups happy, with projects of questionable value, such as “The Ethanol Hoax” (by Nicholas von Hoffman, The Nation, April 2007; and “Exposing the Corn-Based Ethanol Hoax as a Solution to Peak Oil: Corn lobby’s tall tale of a gas substitute,” The Christian Science Monitor, June 5, 2006) 

Check your local media for a list of events in your area. Most newspapers appear to be covering the activities (e.g., The Seattle Post-Intelligencer) I’m going to head to a rally in downtown Schenectady, which will focus on the need for more and better mass transportation.

MirrorG  As I suggested  last April, there is no solution for carbon and other fossil fuel emission problems that does not involve major reductions in consumption by Americans. If everyone on the planet consumed as much as North Americans, we would need 8 Earths to insure that future generations are at least as well off as we are now.  Our carbon or ecological footprint is simply too large:

Thanks to our large cars and homes, only two nations —  the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait — have per capita “ecological deficits” (negative ecological balances) greater than that of the United States.  The next closest “deficit” nations are Belgium/Luxembourg, whose ecological deficit is 30% smaller than ours per capita, and Netherlands, which has an ecological deficit 37% smaller than ours. 

the mirror
wiped clean
for a guest
……………………. by John Stevenson from Quiet Enough

FootprintQuiz   For the third straight year, I recommend that each of you take the Ecological Footprint Quiz to see how your own consumption compares with that of people around the world and in the USA.  This Ecological Footprint Quiz “estimates how much productive land and water you need to support what you use and what you discard. After answering 15 easy questions you’ll be able to compare your Ecological Footprint to what other people use and to what is available on this planet.”

There’s even a test for school-aged children, available at the BobbieBigFoot website.   There are lesson plans for teachers, including one with the important message: We are All Responsible.

I’m sorry to be preaching again.  But, our politicians won’t say these things, and the message that we need to significanatly reduce our consumption needs to be heard.


her eyes narrow,
seeing for the first time
my little house

……………………. by John Stevenson you!


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