What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

Blog Archive

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Union of Concerned Scientists online book

For years the Union of Concerned Scientists has stood firm against psuedo science and corporate attempts to use it to undermine human and planetary health in the pursuit of profit. They have released an online book called Thoreau's Legacy: American Stories about Global Warming. It's wonderful content and I urge you to read it and support UCS. Here is an excerpt from the foreword by Barbara Kingsolver;

" We find ourselves in a chapter of history I would entitle "Isolation and Efficiency, and How They Came Around to Bite Us in the Backside." We're ravaged by disagreements, bizarrely globalized, with the extravagant excesses of one culture washing up as famine or flood on the shores of another. Even the architecture of our planet—climate, oceans, migratory paths, things we believed were independent of human affairs—is collapsing under the weight of our efficient productivity. Twenty years ago, climate scientists first told Congress that carbon emissions were building toward a disastrous instability. Congress said, We need to think about that. Ten years later, the world's nations wrote the Kyoto Protocol, a set of legally binding controls on our carbon emissions. The United States said, We still need to think about it. Now we watch as glaciers disappear, the lights of biodiversity go out, the oceans reverse their ancient order. A few degrees look so small on the thermometer. We are so good at measuring things and declaring them under control. How could our weather turn murderous, pummel our coasts, push new diseases like dengue fever onto our doorstep? It's an emergency on a scale we've never known, and we've responded by following the rules we know: efficiency, isolation. We can't slow productivity and consumption—that's unthinkable. Can't we just go home and put a really big lock on the door?
Not this time. Our paradigm has met its match. Now we can either shift away from a carbon-based economy or find another place to live. Imagine it: we raised our children on a lie. We gave them this world and promised they could keep it running on a fossil substance—dinosaur slime—and it's running out. The geologists disagree only on how much is left, and the climate scientists now say they're sorry, but that's not even the point: we won't have time to use it all. To stabilize the floods and firestorms, we'll have to reduce our carbon emissions by 80 percent within a few decades.... The arc of history is longer than human vision. It bends. We abolished slavery, we granted universal suffrage. We have done hard things before. Each time it took a terrible fight between people who could not imagine changing the rules and those who said, "We already did. We have made the world new." The hardest part will be to convince ourselves of the possibilities and hang on. If we run out of hope at the end of the day, we'll rise in the morning and put it on again with our shoes. Hope is the only reason we won't burn what's left of the ship and go down with it. If somebody says, "Your money or your life," you can say, "Life." And mean it."

No comments: