Tuesday, April 22, 2008

earth day 2008

no matter how we reason it, what we do matters - in every area of life.  today we acknowledge, celebrate, and remember earth day with great hope and a great amount of sobriety.  we are a long way from redemption.  in the sunday n.y. times magazine (entirely committed to green issues), michael pollan has a short but precise piece that speaks to this.  i love it because he reminds us that planting anything helps.  here's a bit of it:

"There are so many stories we can tell ourselves to justify doing nothing, but perhaps the most insidious is that, whatever we do manage to do, it will be too little too late. Climate change is upon us, and it has arrived well ahead of schedule. Scientists’ projections that seemed dire a decade ago turn out to have been unduly optimistic: the warming and the melting is occurring much faster than the models predicted. Now truly terrifying feedback loops threaten to boost the rate of change exponentially, as the shift from white ice to blue water in the Arctic absorbs more sunlight and warming soils everywhere become more biologically active, causing them to release their vast stores of carbon into the air. Have you looked into the eyes of a climate scientist recently? They look really scared.

So do you still want to talk about planting gardens?

I do.

Whatever we can do as individuals to change the way we live at this suddenly very late date does seem utterly inadequate to the challenge. It’s hard to argue with Michael Specter, in a recent New Yorker piece on carbon footprints, when he says: “Personal choices, no matter how virtuous [N.B.!], cannot do enough. It will also take laws and money.” So it will. Yet it is no less accurate or hardheaded to say that laws and money cannot do enough, either; that it will also take profound changes in the way we live. Why? Because the climate-change crisis is at its very bottom a crisis of lifestyle — of character, even. The Big Problem is nothing more or less than the sum total of countless little everyday choices, most of them made by us (consumer spending represents 70 percent of our economy), and most of the rest of them made in the name of our needs and desires and preferences."


1 comment:

billy said...

Thanks Sherry...this is an encouraging reminder that we are either part of the solution or part of the problem...no act is ultimately neutral when it comes to contributing either to the good or ill of the world around us....we will be praying for you as you go home this weekend....keep going......