Thursday, October 15, 2009
The facts supporting climate change have been widely reported across numerous media outlets; I wanted to post this to add one more blog to the list in support of making drastic changes to our lifestyles.
Climate change is just one of the many ills our society suffers because of our addiction with fossil fuels. Looking for purportedly cheap coal, we send fellow citizens to work in coal mines; once the vein dies or becomes too expensive, we raze the mountains and dump the top into the surrounding valleys creating wastelands in lieu of forested habitats. Those stream beds supply someone’s water somewhere in the chain are then filled with poisons and waste from the mining, and during rainy years like this one the fills can create huge landslides (which if it doesn’t kill you isn’t covered under a homeowner’s policy).
Our love of the automobile has lead us to build massive expanses of blacktop. The power of the car has allowed us to move further and further from work and commercial centers which leads to more traffic congestion then demand for less congested roadways. The fuel for these vehicles will not last forever, and even if it did, its exhaust is killing us. Furthermore is the fuel worth the national security risk; what would the economy do if for whatever crazy reason OPEC decided to stick it to us tomorrow? Public transportation was squashed by domestic automakers, and many people still argue public transportation will never be self-sustaining. Funny how the sweetheart lease deals we make with big oil doesn’t impugn them. However, as our population grows the stress on the current roadways will increase while the demand for housing increases, and no one wants to live near the noise and smell of major roadway.
Our food is tied closely to energy prices because almost everything Americans eat is soaked in oil starting from the time the seeds are delivered from Monsanto to their drive to your home in plastic bags in the back of your car. If you are eating processed foods then you have even more oil on your hands not to mention the spare tire around your middle.
Even if our elected officials refuse to act, we can each do something small like grow some food, bring your own boxes and bags to the store, do without the car, or insulate your home. These little things when compounded will help, but a phone call or email to elected officials can’t hurt.