12.16.2010

ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, NEVADA, NEW MEXICO, OKLAHOMA, TEXAS, UTAH: WHY YOU SHOULD BE VERY, VERY CONCERNED ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE

You can tell when I am catching up on my reading. Here is a post that was printed on Joe Romm's Climate Progress more than a year ago. I just reread it, and was struck full force again by its power; it is based on an LA Times piece about climate change in Australia. It is devastating. And it is more pertinent now, after recent elections, and rising threats among DC politicians and lobbyists to cripple, if not dismantle, our amazing Environmental Protection Agency. One of the things that makes me so proud to be an American is that we live in a country where polluters are not (entirely) allowed to ruin the air we breath and the water we drink. Well, that's the theory, anyway. And it has worked, to some extent--but there's more work to be done.

What is so moving about the LA Times piece is that it puts a human face on the tragedy unfolding in Australia--the suicides, the bankruptcies, the loss of family farms. Scientists here point to Australia as a leading indicator for what climate change will look like in the American Southwest. Are you there, Arizona? And California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah. Actually, a group called HEAL Utah has just issued an impressive report imagining a "green" future; California just fought back dirty oil on Prop 23. There's good news all around--which means there is hope for change. But there's still too much bad news too. We have to keep up the pressure for change. I can only imagine--with a shudder--what our children are going to think of our dithering twenty years from now.


Not bedtime reading. And not to worry: I'm not going to devote Slow Love Life space exclusively to this issue. Its just that I'm doing a lot of thinking about climate change, as I consider my New Year's resolutions. I've been looking back on the year, weighing up what has given me real pleasure and pride, and what has been a waste of time, frankly. High on my list of what feels good? Advocacy. Doing my part to help shed light, and hope, on what I consider the greatest problem ever to face humankind: Global warming.

Also high on my list? Slow Love Life, and all of you who have joined the conversation. Thank you. We have a gorgeous planet. Let's cherish it.

63 comments:

karensandburg said...

greetings from colorado -- dry dry dry...

thanks for the post dominique. unfortunately, corporations are running things and they're not motivated to change for the better because it will effect their bottom line. they have absorbed more and more of the wealth of the world, sacrificing everything including our beautiful planet. i am generally a positive person, but in this, i feel overwhelmed and deeply discouraged.

Blue said...

Yesterday, having read your post about foodie superiority, I remembered I had a draft of an unfinished post about the excessive growth of plastic in packaging - noticeable to me over the last year. I sit now in a high-rise that because it's forty years old, leaks like the proverbial sieve, it's so badly insulated. I am making improvements to our space but overall, the building is an energy disaster. In many ways, the building is a microcosm, an analogy of the greater picture.

Given the changes in Congress I am less hopeful than I was about the environment. Also, given what I heard from an employee at the local supermarket with a self-declared organic mission, that after separation of plastic, metal and paper from biodegradable stuff, it all goes into the same dump.
Discouraging!

Hilda Grace said...

Indeed it is a great privilege to have clean air and clean water. These resources are our most precious treasures, and their preservation is the responsibility of every living person. We live thanks to clean air, and clean water, and owe our lives to the guardians of these limited resources, and the conservators of the earth's climate. The stewardship of nature is a rite of the highest order .

Dominique said...

You know, I've heard the same comments about everything going into the same dump, and a friend surprised her trash collector at the dump putting the recycling into the garbage bin....I wonder how often this actually happens, and I wonder at how good our reporting and monitoring is...

Re feeling overwhelmed: it is so easy to see why, and how, that happens. Here's what I've decided: it is simply a choice. We have to make a sort of leap across a divide of all that is unknowable, and simply decide to land on the side of hope and optimism rather than discouragement and despair. There's plenty of evidence for feeling either way, so this is not about being rational. It is about deciding which is the healthier way to live...I think. I have to force myself, sometimes, to ignore my despair and keep trying....

Re plastics: I saw a wonderful blog called Fake Plastic Fish in which a woman decides to give up on plastics, and keep them out of her house. I decided I would try to do this for a week. I lasted one day. Much work to do....!

karensandburg said...

you're right, of course ... the unknowable divide ... yes, hope and optimism DO sound better than despair :-)

after posting my comment, i turned the fire on, took a sip of coffee and began reading the paper. oddly enough, and quite a message from the universe tsk-tsking me for being so negative, the front page story was about colorado passing a law that by 2017 all coal power plants would have to be transitioned to natural gas! glad tidings and a smile on my lips...

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