Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ten steps for greenhouse relief and benefits

Pledge for Climate Protection by Culture Change

Apparently, government and greenhouse-gas generating corporations are not up to the task of saving the climate. So, let us act for the Earth at this critical time. The world's transport sector is the worst offender in greenhouse-gas emissions-especially the U.S. car fleet. Waiting for the "technofix" for industry could be ecocide: renewable energy cannot support a huge consumer economy; it is expected to rely on the same unsustainable infrastructure, and dwindling cheap petroleum in its diverse uses cannot be fully substituted.

Here are 10 vital steps to slow global warming and climate destabilization. Some of these steps may be difficult at first, but all are fun, save money, and offer exercise and social opportunities.

1. Drive your car less, or give it up. Perhaps you can try carpooling or renting a car. Eventually you could move your residence closer to work, or find a job closer to home. Ride a bike, walk, take the bus or the train. Use bike-carts for hauling. Each gallon of gasoline burned means five pounds of carbon into the atmosphere. The U.S. burns over 140 billion gallons a year.

2. Cut down on working just for cash. Personal arrangements reduce commuting and boost community. Garden or farm locally so you can share in the food. Help clean or repair someone's home, and in return perhaps get your hair styled or get a massage! Do some child care or teaching in your immediate neighborhood so others don't have to drive their kids, and you may be compensated in the form of getting some clothing, firewood or music lessons. Establish local currency.

3. Depave your driveway or someone else's. Grow food. Tear up a parking lot. Good soil for growing food is often under asphalt and concrete, except when a bed of rocks was put in and soil scraped away. Narrowing a road (which calms traffic and lowers the "urban heat island effect" of pavement) can allow for all-important tree planting. Create compost with kitchen scraps and garden clippings, for growing depaved veggies. Save urine for fertilizing trees; dilute it for garden plants.

4. Unplug the television and other electric or motorized appliances or toys. Read books, play non-electric musical instruments, and talk with your family. Get news and entertainment from a solar or handcrank radio. Get off the grid: use no electricity in first one room, then others. Reduce heating. Share ovens: Six loaves of bread can bake at once instead of one-this means getting together with neighbors! Go to bed early so as to not turn night into day. Use non-petroleum oil lamps. Minimize outdoor lighting. No motorized recreational toys or two-stroke engines. Push-mow lawns; bring back the scythe to clear fields.

5. Halt road construction at local, state and national levels. More roads and wider roads bring about more car and truck traffic and CO2 emissions, and allow sprawl development which means more electricity-demand and less green space. Roads are the way forests have been clearcut. There should be no compromise: our biosphere is running out of time. Cheap oil is running out too fast for myriad roads to be useful.

6. Reject the jet: Take vacations without air travel. Sail. Go into a line of work not requiring jet travel. Jets are less energy efficient than cars, per capita, comparing a jet full of passengers to one person driving. Forget jet skis too!

7. Plant trees on lawns (including golf courses), and everywhere: they suck up CO2. Vital places for restoration include stream and river banks, and dirt roads that have been closed. (Do close roads; the Earth would approve.) Hope that increasingly violent storms due to global warming will not destroy forests and plants too badly. Collect rain water and use water sparingly for washing, especially cars, as pumping municipal water can use much fossil-fuel energy that adds to global warming.

8. Buy and consume locally: This cuts down on petroleum-based transport. Also, buy smart: little or no petroleum plastic. Reuse paper bags and glass containers. Support sustainable, nontoxic materials-industries such as hemp: it replaces pulping of trees. Buy in bulk. Reuse and recycle everything including kitchen scraps for compost. Avoid eating animal products especially shipped-in beef. 

Consume no factory-farm animal products; the herds create methane and demand great quantities of electricity and petroleum. Earth's petroleum-oil and natural gas-will be virtually gone before 2050. Growing food organically does not use fertilizers made from natural gas or pesticides from oil. To improve diet for health and localization, look into

9. Reduce population growth: Adopt a child instead of reproducing, but bearing one child is better than adding two to the population. Fewer consumers especially in the highest per capita energy-using nation (the U.S.) means lower global-warming emissions. Why bring another life into an overpopulated, greenhouse world? Instead of "More Jobs" for more people, what about less people? More "jobs"=more CO2 emissions.

10. Community action: Aim it toward governments and big corporations. If today's level of outcry against genetically engineered food and the excesses of world corporate trade were combined, that might be enough to get the ball rolling. So, write letters, demonstrate in the streets, form boycotts, and attend city-council and county-supervisor hearings. Use the Internet to email this, and link websites to Take loving action to discourage fellow citizens' climate-changing habits. Good luck to us all; we are all one.