Monday, December 29, 2008

How To Stop Global Warming, or, A Cranky Person Spouts Off

People say, "What is the sense of our small effort?" They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time.
~Dorothy Day

Travel and learn. Photo by Lisa Kau.

When contemplating what to write for this month's Green Mom's Carnival, which has the topic of Global Warming, I was flummoxed. Global Warming? What on earth could I add to the Global Warming dialog? I felt inadequate, small, unworthy (even though sustainability is what I do). And that, dear readers, is the key.

Each and every one of us MUST do what we can. Regardless of our scientific credentials. Regardless of our status, our education, our confidence (or lack of it). It is up to us - individuals - to make a difference. I am not a parent (although I have three nieces, whom I love so fiercely it actually hurts, and for whom I would throw myself in front of an oncoming train), but when I think of what kind of world we are leaving for future generations I almost despair. Almost.

I once had a boyfriend (of the Earth First! variety) who would spray paint “Nature bats last!” on isolated bridges and over passes in ravaged, heavily-logged national parks and wilderness areas. While I was a bit appalled at the vandalism, I agree with the sentiment. Human beings are just a blip on the planet’s radar; we are currently wreaking havoc, but are ultimately not as important as we like to think we are.

We have the opportunity to make a huge paradigm shift – respecting nature, living sustainably, slowing consumerism, sharing our wealth, building communities, and learning kindness. I am embarrassed at the riches Americans squander each and every day; for example, we buy bottled water with extra shots of caffeine or vitamins or just a really pretty label, while others, by a mere accident of birth, do not even have clean water to drink.
To me it all comes down to personal responsibility, and deciding to think about something other (bigger!) than ourselves. I remain optimistically realistic, and just a bit cranky.

How to Curb Global Warming, Part One
  1. Take responsibility - for your actions, your non-actions, your attitudes and your biases.
  2. Stop driving. Seriously. Just stop. (Mark Sheppard doesn't agree with me...and boy, he is really cranky!)
  3. Work (hard!) for change.
  4. Take care of everyone. Not just the pretty or the rich or the sane or the educated. Everyone.
  5. Be kind.
  6. Stop competing.
  7. Consider reading the Utne Reader, Orion and YES! Magazine instead of People and Entertainment Weekly. Do we really give a horse's patoot about how Jen is coping with Brad and Angelina's ever-growing family?
  8. Find work you love. Embrace a new paradigm.
  9. Share. The one who dies with the most toys does NOT win. He's just dead, with lots of stuff for someone else to deal with.
  10. Turn off your TV, and cancel your cable.
  11. Read books. Borrow them from the library, or use Bookmooch.
  12. Speaking of libraries, support them. If you don't have any cash, volunteer.
  13. Become frugal. Think of it as another way of conserving resources.
  14. Grow your own vegetables, swap with neighbors. If you don't have the space, join a community garden. Get creative!
  15. Compost, and be amazed at what nature can do.
  16. Spay and neuter your pets (9.6 million animals are euthanized - killed, put down, - annually) and encourage others to do so, too.
  17. Do not buy dogs from puppy mills.
  18. Get to know your neighbors.
  19. Travel, and learn that the world is made up of people a lot like us.
  20. Understand that valuing conspicuous consumption is, well, kind of stupid. Do we think it really matters if we have the new style of Jimmy Choo shoes?
  21. Don't be cranky.

Sell your soul (sole?) for Jimmy Choo's. Photo Credit CafeHangout on Flickr

More info on the Green Mom's Carnival can be found here.


  1. "Don't be cranky."

    Ha! I love your crankiness. Keep it up. I am so with you on the not driving! I haven't owned a car since the mid 80's and feel guilty the few times a year I rent a Zip Car. Bikes rock. Everyone should have one.

  2. Great list, especially #8 (find work you love). I see so many people who look numb when they talk about their work and wonder how much of that numbness bleeds over to the rest of their lives. It's hard to feel like part of the web of life while numb.

  3. It is a journey, isn't it. A real paradigm shift and I think we do it bit by bit. Suddenly, who cares about Brangelina.

  4. For goodness' sake, my attitude is, like, "Just do SOMETHING, people." Is that cranky, or am I just right? :-)

  5. Look, I sold my car, but I am not giving up the crankiness!! I crank therefore I am. Come on!! ;)

  6. when we become what i call particular... you might say cranky ... i say different, strident, proud and always seeking choice makes me wonderfully happy to hang w/ like minded folks like you...great list and post alline

  7. I'm happy to say I'm almost doing everything, except I'll NEVER stop driving. I did buy a Honda Civic that gets 35MPG around town and work virtually, so hardly ever use it, but when I want to drive, I want MY car to do it in. Everyone gets one vice, that's mine.


Now it's your turn - what do YOU think?