Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Ugly Reality

I just read an email which forwarded Sharon's post from her blog: http://casaubonsbook.blogspot.com/ called "Time to Face Ugly Reality." I recommend reading it!

Her post was very sobering. It directed me to a review of George Monbiot's new book called "Heat" which picks up where Al Gore left off on global warming. Heat offers real solutions without sugar-coating the large personal sacrifices they will require.

Gore and Monbiot both believe that the window of opportunity to make changes is very small -- less than 30 years. Gore made some small and easy recommendations at the end of his movie -- turning down the thermostat, driving less, changing light bulbs. Is it enough? Monibot doesn't think so.

Monbiot reluctantly concludes, "(T)here is simply no way of tackling this issue other than reducing the number, length and speed of the journeys we make." Knowing the audience for whom the book is intended, he acerbically adds, this will mean the end of "shopping trips to New York, political meetings in Porto Alegre, long distance vacations."

Monbiot sums up his findings, "I have sought to demonstrate that the necessary reduction in carbon emissions is -- if difficult -- technically and economically possible. I have not demonstrated that it is politically possible."

Is it politically possible? The last paragraph of Heat is not hopeful. "(T)he campaign against climate change is an odd one. Unlike almost all the public protests which have preceded it, it is a campaign not for abundance but for austerity. It is a campaign not for more freedom but for less. Strangest of all, it is a campaign not just against other people, but also against ourselves."

He shows us that most of the rhetoric we hear about greenhouse gas reduction is way off the mark. Two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels is the temperature level beyond which major ecosystems begin to collapse, and in order to prevent this from happening, rich nations must cut their greenhouse gasses by 90 percent or more by the year 2030.

I think that Monibot has made some very sobering but important conclusions. Gore did a great job of getting us to recognize the frightening facts of global warming and has given us very easy first steps. However, these are not solutions - they are very small steps to take. What they do well is introduce the topic of global warming in an accessible fashion. Everyone can change a lightbulb. It provides baby steps to help change the American mindset. What Monibot suggests is much more difficult -- we have to be willing to give up a lot. We have to be willing to travel less, consolidate trips, car pool, consume fewer products, eat locally, and eat less meat. We need to make drastic changes in how we choose to live.

According to a new report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18 percent – than transport. It is also a major source of land and water degradation."

That release is at http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448/index.html

What you eat -- meat vs. veggies -- could have more impact on global warming (at least in the short term) than how much you drive.

It made me realize what other changes I need to make. I am not doing enough. As a teacher, I realize how important education is. I want to educate others and provide methods for people to share and learn from one another. This last week I started a new email group (Sustainable Urban Living: UrbanSustainable@yahoogroups.com), as I realize how many of us want to learn to live sustain ably in our urban environment. I have contacted the campus about starting an educational movie series "Movies that Matter" in the hope to educate the community and follow with conversation. There are so many other things that could be done. I need to think about it.

Today I cut off my hair. It was weighing me down - literally and figuratively. I have/had very thick long curly hair. It is nearly impossible to wash. Simply getting fingers through the mass was difficult. It also took such huge amounts of conditioner and energy (warm water) to care for. I cut off over a foot. I also decided to no longer color my hair. Yes, I may have some premature gray hairs, but I will accept those rather than add the cost to the environment. I also told my stylist to watch An Inconvenient Truth. She had never heard of it.

As Sharon stated in her posting "Time to Face Ugly Reality," we truly need to make an 80% reduction in what we do and consume so that our children have a habitable planet. We do not own the earth we borrow the land from our children.

20 comments:

Moonwaves said...

Hi there

There's an interesting discussion going on about washing hair with shampoo versus not using anything at the moment on this forum:

http://www.itsnoteasybeinggreen.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=101

I've heard about this before but never been able to carry it through. If I had a two month holiday sometime I'd certainly give it a try. Unfortunately I need to look "respectable" for work and although I have long, curly and very thick hair which can easily go a week or so without looking greasy eventually it does happen. You might find it interesting to read some other people's experiences.

Emme said...

I have not used shampoo for years. I read that shampoo is very bad for curly hair. Conditioner is very good and important for curls. My biggest problem was that it would take ten minutes just to get my hair thoroughly wet. Then rinsing the conditioner out - ugh. What a waste of water and power! I simply couldn't do it any longer. :)

Chelee said...

I decided to become vegetarian at the first of the year. It's not because I don't like meat, it's environmental.

I too had very long curly hair and cut it short last spring. I'm amazed at the difference it's made in my daily life. I really felt the weight lift physically and psychologically. You can still color your hair naturally using Henna. I can buy it in bulk at my health food store. Although going natural is super cool and I think the new sexy.(0:

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

So, did you get to donate your hair since you cut off so much?? My daughter wanted to do that once but the hair dresser didn't do that. We always regretted not going somewhere else for at least that haircut so it could have been given for wigs for cancer patients. Oh well.
Good luck with your new do!
Monica

Anonymous said...

I did that, too for the same reasons. Good for you!
Evan

M said...

I chopped my hair last summer and haven't had it colored since last May. I have the premature gray hairs too. They showed up when I turned 30. :) I love having shorter hair. Makes life so much easier in so many ways.

Kim in IN said...

My hair is natural and short. At 46 I don't have alot of grey,but I will go grey naturally. No coloring for me.
peace,
kim

Palimpsester said...

It's sad that grey and wrinkles aren't appreciated more. I think my wife's hair is actually prettier with the grey coming in.

Our daughter was astounded at how little water her host family in France used for washing themselves.

Beo said...

As far as the Politcan momemtum of austerity goes-take two very different circumstances: WWII and the Oil Embargo's in the 70's. The sacfrifices made in the 1940's are still staggering, and the fact that we lowered the national speed limit and refused to put up Christmas lights seems unthinkable today. What is missing?

Honest Leadership-from either party.

hannah said...

I agree with beo - its amazing how our country used to come together in times of crisis and now people don't want to sacrifice anything. I think alot of that is the "I deserve" attitude. A lot of my friends and family simply aren't willing, they feel they have "worked hard" for their new vehicle ect. ect. and they deserve to have it. I often find people just simply ignoring the facts to fit their lifestyle...my DH works with people who still don't "believe" in global warming!

Emme said...

Beo and Hannah - I agree. My husband even told me that a few months ago he was upset about the price of gas. Then he realized that he was feeling entitled to cheap gas. Of course, he realized that his reaction was like many people that we know. Even with his education and knowledge of global warming and peak oil he had the reaction that we are entitled to the status quo. Of course, he realized his reaction and was shocked at himself.

t. said...

I have to agree with Beo and Hannah, but I also think that it's hard to really relate to an issue when it feels so far away.

2030 is 23 years away and that feels like a long time for people. Most people think that the government will get it together in that time and that things will be a-ok. The reality is that it's not that far away.

Anonymous said...

final sync -
firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit over 40 -
fit yummy yummy -
flattenyourabs -
flatten your abs -
forex candlesticks made easy -
forex killer -
forex megadroid -
get rid of your cellulite -
g money pro -
google shadow -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
gov resources -
health biz in a box -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
hybrid water power -
i software tv -
joyful tomato -
keyword spy pro -
kingdom of pets -
macro virus -
malware bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
microcap millionaires -
moles warts removal -
mole wart removal -
muscle gaining secrets -
natural cure for yeast infection -

Anonymous said...

paid surveys etc -
panic away -
pdf creator -
public records pro -
quick article pro -
quick income blueprint -
quit smoking today -
ranking loophole -
reg clean -
reg defense -
regi cleanse -
registry easy -
registry genius -
registry winner -
reg sweep -
reg tool -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rig worker -
rocket chinese -
rocket french -
rocket german -
rotator cuff training -
rss feeds submit -
save the marriage -
site builder elite -
six figure yearly 2009 -
sleep tracks -
sold in 21 days -
spyware stop -
stop being tired -
stop your hair loss -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -

Anonymous said...

the diet solution program -
tonsil stones remedies -
top secret magic code -
truth about abs -
turbulence training -
turn your photos into cash -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
win clear -
xbox 360 red light fix -
xp repair pro -
1st promotion -
3 redlight fix -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
advanced defrag -
anti spyware -
anti spyware bot -
art of approaching -
banish rosacea -
blog lock down -
brad yates -
building a chicken coop -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
combat the fat -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
copy n profit -
credit secrets bible -
cure angular cheilitis -

Anonymous said...

cure morning sickness -
dirty talking guide -
domain tweak system -
dotcom income secrets -
duplicate file cleaner -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy launcher -
easy system cleaner -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
eczema free forever -
email finder -
energy 2 green -
error nuker -
evidence smart -
fat burning furnace -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flattenyourabs -
forex enterprise -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
home job stop -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
how do i get him back -
hyper vre -
keyword spy pro -
kingdom of pets -
mafia war secrets -
malware bot -

Anonymous said...

master cleanse secrets -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
maximum paid surveys -
meet your sweet -
mobile tv pro -
musclegainingsecrets -
muscle gaining secrets -
my dish biz -
one minute cure -
paid surveys online -
panic away -
pc tv 4 me -
pdf creator -
perfect optimizer -
pick the gender of your baby -
plr wholesaler -
private niche empire -
project quick cash -
public records pro -
pull your ex back -
quick article pro -
quit smoking today -
reality creation secrets -
reg clean -
regi cleanse -
registry easy -
registry fix -
registry winner -
reg sweep -
reg tool -
reverse mobile -
reverse phone detective -
richard mackenzie direct -

Anonymous said...

rich garbage man -
rocket chinese -
rocket french -
seize cars -
shop until you drop -
six figure yearly 2009 -
sleep tracks -
spyware nuker -
spyware stop -
sunshine 4u -
the bad breath report -
the cash1234 system -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the free car -
the lazy marketer -
tonsil stones remedies -
truth about abs -
truth about diets -
turbulence training -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
violin master pro -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
xp repair pro -
yeast infection no more -
2ip hosting -
10 minute forex wealth builder -
30 minute back links -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
advanced defrag -
affiliate jackpot -

Anonymous said...

anti spyware -
art of approaching -
battery reconditioning -
blogging to the bank -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
carp evolution -
cb bonus domination -
combat the fat -
content website builder -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cure angular cheilitis -
cure morning sickness -
dirty talking guide -
driver robot -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy launcher -
easy system cleaner -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
error smart -
evidence eraser -
evidence smart -
fatburningfurnace -
fat loss 4 idiots -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flattenyourabs -
flatten your abs -
forex trading machine -
forex trading made ez -

Anonymous said...

get your exgirlfriend back -
google snatch -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
grow taller 4 idiots -
guy gets girl -
hcg recipes -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
how to break 80 -
hyper vre -
instant domain cash -
i software tv -
jamo rama acoustic -
linden method -
lose the back pain -
magni work -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
musclegainingsecrets -
muscle gaining secrets -
negative calorie diet -
one minute cure -
one week marketing -
only 4 gamers -
paid surveys online -
panic away -
pc on point -
pc tv 4 me -
perfect optimizer -
phone number scan -
pick the gender of your bady -
power 4 home -
profit lance -