Thursday, March 29, 2007

Environmental ACTION

In my post on the problems with the world, one of the things that I mentioned was the people didn't do what they said. This lack of integrity is causing all sorts of problems. In a recent study 55% of those surveyed said they wished they walked more (I can't believe that this number is that low). When asked about a long-term solution for the traffic problem, 31% of people said we should develop communities, 35% of people said we should improve public transportation, and 25% of people said that we should build more roads. If people really want to walk more, develop communities or improve public transportation it is going to take a lot more than just saying that they want to. It may be a stretch to call this a lack of integrity, but if you want something you have to SHOW that you want it. If you wish you walked more, get out and walk. If you think we should develop community (frankly I don't know what that means, but in the study it was clumped with those who did NOT think that more roads was the solution to traffic problems), then you should take action on that. If you think that we need to improve public transportation, maybe you should start using it as often as possible so that the interest is known and you are financially supporting public transportation.

People don't do what they say. Here are a couple of examples...
Al Gore won some big award for his movie on improving the environment. He testified before congress about global warming and the need for immediate action. Al Gore's house is 10,000 square feet (is that really enough for him and his wife?). His electric bill and gas bill are both independently more than I make each month. But, he says, he lives a carbon neutral life because he gives someone a bunch of money to offset his carbon emissions. Bologna. If we want to make a difference in global warming or anything else, at least those who want to make a difference will have to make some sacrifices in order to see a difference.

On the other hand, George Bush has been one of the worst presidents for the environment. His contributions as president include starting a war centered around oil. Yet, George Bush's house in Texas is only (only?) 4,000 square feet and uses some of the greenest forms of energy production. He has a heating system that uses deep holes in the earth (where the earth is a constant temperature in the upper 60s) to keep his home warm without electricity. He uses solar power for much of his energy needs and he has a gray water reclamation system to conserve water in addition to a system that collects water running off from the roof of his house. I have not agreed with many of Bush's policies, but his home is actually a model to be followed. Does he know something that we don't?

If you think the world is headed drastically in the wrong direction, it is going to take drastic changes to correct the course. If your health is in really bad shape, it is going to take really big changes to correct it. Moderation is nice and all and it makes people feel good because they can continue doing what they have always done and expect everything to change, but the world won't change until you do and the world will only change to the extent that you change.

4 comments:

TV Free said...
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TV Free said...

Grrrr. I can't believe it! It is so frustrating that the people who claim to care about the environment don't make the sacrifices that "normal" (read: lower income) people would have to make. If you really care, show me! Don't buy your way out of it.

And George W., WHY? I don't understand that man. I would love to have a house like his (well, about 1/4 the size) and I try to live a lifestyle that reflects my beliefs in how we should treat the environment. So why does he have an ecologically friendly house? While I think its great that he does, maybe he can allocate some of that 115 billion dollars we're spending on wars to building green residences for all the homeless people?

Emily said...

I think there is a huge area for research that could be conducted about people's intentions. For the most part, I think people have good intentions, and would do things to improve the environment if given the power to do so in a convenient way.

On the other hand, people have a tendancy to say one thing and then do another a lot of the time, although I think their intentions were initially good.

I don't know why people are that way, and I think it would be interesting to find out why our modern society accepts this behavior as a norm.

I find that the most limiting and most damning problem, when it comes to improving our ecological lifestyles, is that it requires more effort than I am willing to give and a startling lack of accountability in the private sector. We are living in a strange age when big business and politicians make decisions that nobody else cares to notice and enviromental policies favor the richest of the rich at the expense of the enviroment.

It is a dangerous time whenever we as a people choose not to be involved in our democratic process. Complacency and ignorance are the real enemies of the enviroment. When it becomes profitable to be enviromentally sound, change will happen quickly.

I think we will just end up watching things deteriorate until change HAS to happen. When water and electricity and gas become very expensive, the enviroment will be a priority.

Margaret said...

Human nature? Are we all guilty of saying things are important to us and then not walking our talk? I try to be very honest about my shortcomings--I am NOT the best recycler(as I've already admitted to you), I don't floss my teeth the way I should, I can be controlling. (like nagging my kids) However, my shortcomings don't really affect anyone but me, unlike important members of our government who make huge decisions/mistakes that affect all of us.