Monday, March 05, 2007

environmental mondays

i will no longer post constitution mondays. unless and until the patriot act, the military commissions act, and the insurrection act are overturned- we no longer have a constitution. we certainly do not enjoy the freedoms we used to have. but- i have said this many times- and i am turning to something that we can control- our own contributions to the co2 emissions on this planet.

i thought i would explore ways that folks in their everyday lives in america- as we are the number one contributor to greenhouse gases- can do their part each day. will it take some thought?- yes. will it take some sacrifice and planning? - yes. but think of it this way- if we continue to live exactly the way we are right now- the planet as we know it- hospitable and bountiful in some regions- will cease to exist. americans don't like change and are really big into leaving things to posterity- so- really this is a win-win situation. if we don't want our earth to change, and we want to leave a viable planet to our children and posterity- we can act now to turn things around.

there are numerous cities across america and now 5 western states who are committing to lowering greenhouse gases and co2 emissions. why not build on that and make it nationwide? thinking smarter does not mean giving up jobs- it means creating new ones. it doesn't mean giving up cheap food- it means eating smarter and better- and that would go a long way to helping solve the nationwide health crisis that is obesity. i am starting to think about ways to make my life and my home greener. it won't happen overnight- old habits die hard. i still forget to turn my computer printer off- as it doesn't have standby mode- but i do turn off the computer and whatnot.

so- eating. you hear quite a bit about going vegan or vegetarian. there are whole hosts of literature out there from the health care community extolling the benefits of a grains and plant based diet. americans are programmed to eat meat. i don't necessarily think that folks have to give that up. just be smarter about it. it isn't going to hurt to think about a few things while you are enjoying your steak or pork chop- this is the era of corporate farming. that is why food is so relatively cheap here. you have big hog farms in north carolina and big dairy in new zealand that are some of the largest polluters on the planet- not to mention that cooked meat gives off carcinogens.

it takes minutes to plan a weekly menu based more on locally grown fruits and vegetables and dairy products. i googled to see what my state and local area even produces. transportation of foods from one country to another also has an impact on the environment- so help reduce that and help rev up your local economy by reading labels and buying what you can locally. even if it is only seasonal- it will have an impact. less pre-fab and takeout and more home cooking with fresher ingredients and smarter cooking techniques.

whether you believe that the earth is on a 'cycle' or not, there is absolutely no reason to use and throw away wantonly. i realize that corporate polluters are the heavy hitters but we don't have as much control over them. we can control which companies we support and we can control products we buy- and how much. americans, as a nation, are wasteful. we have so many choices and they are instantaneous and that leads to waste. we have control over where we go and what we eat and what we buy. let's just do it smarter with more conservation.


InternetJunkie said...

If you're in the mood to have your head explode, check out (m)Ann Coulter's lastest diatribe about global warming (if you dare venture into her website). What a tool.

As for corporate farming, I remember reading a few years back about the high number of fines that corporate hog farms pay out from polluting the environment. The cost of pork is just as expensive as would be from a local mom & pop farm but has more chemical additives and is inhumane to the animals.

But then, bleeding hearts like myself don't think like right wingers who use the expression: What's the big deal? It's just an animal.

Peacechick Mary said...

These are some good suggestions; however, I think most Americans skirt the big issues as it would mean giving up the American dream of having your own home with a yard; two cars, etc. We can't even come to terms with the big SUV's and McMansions let alone think of making small footprints on the planet.

betmo said...

well, see, that's the problem- if we don't think about anything or anyone other than ourselves- there won't be the american dream. and- why should there be an american dream at the expense of the rest of the world? if we lead the way, we have a better shot at getting asia- china and india the 2 biggest up and comers with some of the most polluted cities in the world- to jump onto the band wagon too. the other alternative is a planet with food and water shortages paired with not enough utilities. did i mention that we shouldn't wait for the oil reserves to run out completely before looking for alternative fuels? but that is the big, big picture.

betmo said...

as for 'she who doesn't deserve to have her name spoken because she isn't a fellow human'- i will pass. she has nothing of value to say and takes pleasure in her sad and pathetic attempts at humor and satire. if she had half of a brain, she would realize that being crass and vulgar isn't the same as being funny. but thanks anyway :)

No said...

Funny, but I was about to start posting about our constitution today--freedom of speech, etc...but on second thought, no, you're right...what's the point?

Countertop said...

a couple of thoughts on so called factory farms - at least here in the states - they didn't happen by accident but rather because farmers needed a way to make a living and provide for their family.

sure, now some are trying to distinguish themselves - and creaate additional value by marketing to limosine liberals at the erxpense of the poor, but their business models are strikingly similar to those you would call "factor farms."

furthermore, if you are worried about climate change, criticizing corporate farms is the wrong way to go. as the un's recent report on livestock pointed out, while livestock generally are one of the largest contributors to climate change, the integrated industrialized system present in the US has the least impact because of its concentration.

Heck, look at who is pushing for climate legislation these days - its the livestock industry more than anyone - that has taken the lead on advancing the state of the art.

all that said, I like your tag line about government being afraid of the people. god bless the 2nd Amendment - its not the $200,000 european shotguns favored by Cheney and Kerry - but all about the AR15s and AK47s that give power to the people.