Monday, October 15, 2007

Blogging for Earth

I found out about Blog Action Day a little late in the game, but wanted to throw my hat in because I feel it’s an important cause. Then I started stressing about what I was going to say. Should I talk about recycling, Al Gore, nuclear energy, air pollution, the loss of fresh water, dead reefs, oil consumption, vegetarianism, organic food, CFL bulbs, NIMBY? Getting the point? Where does one begin when the end already seems so imminent? How do you have a conversation about change when you already feel guilty about contributing to the degradation of the planet?

You know, Earth, our home, the one we’re chipping away at piece by piece. Listen, I’m going to say that again: Our Home. The only one we’ve got. Except maybe, if we were able to colonize another planet. Think of the beauty of the dark void of airless space. No oceans, no mountains, no lakes, no outside ever again. Oh and how about the gelatinous goo we’re going to eat. Remember, we won’t be growing whole grains on the surface of the moon. No more free range chicken. No more lobster bisque (I mean the culinary implications alone make me want to curl up in a corner with a blankie and cry).

Now, don’t start thinking I’m a crack pot. I know the chances of colonizing another planet are about as slim as the U.S. ratifying the Kyoto protocol. And let’s face it, only the uber rich would be able to afford the shuttle up there anyway. So what it all comes down to is this: we’re stuck here. Together.

I feel if everyone, everywhere thought about that once a day it would scare them enough to do something. I think most people see the big picture: war for oil, drowning polar bears. The easy solutions: hybrid cars, CFLs. But does anyone stop to think about the end result? Would you sit in front a coal fire in your kitchen while you cook dinner with water from a leach field pumped from under the garbage dump in your backyard? No? If that was your neighbor, would you go over to their house and talk to them about their options for cleaner living? Oh. You don’t live in a neighborhood like that.

Um actually, yes you do. You live on this planet.

But there IS hope. As a society we can step up and stop blaming the government and corporate America for our problems. Tune out the scientists and their donor-funded “studies”. Tune out the advertising that tells us more/better/disposable. Make a change, do something. Stop driving your gas-guzzling SUV to work, alone. Stop buying bottles of water. Stop throwing away your money on disposable, plastic crap. Use real dishes and utensils. THINK when you shop. Does my family need 100 individually wrapped Pop Tarts? Reuse a Ziplock bag once or twice. I promise it’s not gross and I won’t tell your friends. Ride the bus. Better yet, ride a bike. Go to a consignment shop and get some "new" clothes. Get the couch reupholstered, don't throw it out. Stop bragging about your Hummer and your new 50in. high def. We’d rather you took all that disposable income and donated it to an environmental cause.

Examine your every move, your every purchase. I know it’s hard. I know you’ll want to give up. I do. But then stop for one second and consider: where will this trash go? Where are we going to get more oil? Can I fix this plastic widget before I toss it? It’s going to take more than alternative energy and recycling programs to reverse our course. We need to rethink the way we live and reexamine what we really, truly need. And above all we have to work together and support each other. We have to stop this mindless competition for more stuff.

We’re not liberals, or hippy tree-huggers, or conservative right-wingers, or creationists, or Nobel Peace Prize winners, or corporate polluters, or OPEC, or soldiers, or yak herders, or Tibetan monks or even Eskimos. We’re neighbors. You and me. All of us. Sharing one home. One backyard. Think about that.

Oh, and tell the Mars colony they can keep Paris Hilton.

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