Thursday, August 11, 2011

These people say it better

There's this article on why going green makes you happier. In part it seems like a big pat on the back for anyone who dubs themselves environmentalists (which I do not consider myself--being aware of the environment and my impact on it is important, but I've got a long way to go before I could feel like I deserve that title without feeling hypocritical), but the article does have its basis in quite a few philosophical quotes by brilliant people. Who am I to argue with the Dalai Lama? Besides which, we could all use some positive reinforcement to help solidify change in our lives. And I get the feeling that one good habit inspires us each to make other changes in our lives. Start small and it's amazing what you can do. What's that saying about each journey starting with a single step?
Then there's this one on one reason the chemical cocktail we're pouring into the environment needs to stop. There should be a ratio of boy babies to girl babies being born that's 51%/49%. Some communities are seeing twice as many girls born as boys and the reason is most likely because of chemicals in the environment affecting reproductive organs. (This is difficult to prove, but almost all affected communities are near chemical plants. The others are downstream of them, or in some other way affected by chemical plants outside of their immediate region.) How scary is that? What's even scarier is that I noticed this trend (lots of girls being born, fewer boys) among people I know before ever hearing about this. Across the country, friends and family who've had babies over the past couple of years have overwhelmingly had girls. I realize that my observation isn't exactly scientific, but what's the possibility that of roughly 15 births that I can think of in the last year and a half, only three were boys?
The things these people have been trying to bring attention to are fascinating. Particularly pay attention to Fred Kirschenmann, who pointed out that growing organically doesn't mean that you're growing sustainably.
Also, this article made me laugh with the tone (and since when is dog mushing "big Alaskan business"?), but I'm very proud of the fact that people and towns in my state are moving toward a more sustainable life. Even if we can't get anything going on the national level, if we each changed our communities locally to be sustainable there would be no need for national change.
Finally, there's this article on the moral imperative to reduce waste and rid ourselves of the idea of disposability. Usually I don't like the religious point of view (getting involved in religion, more than anything else, tends to set other people's backs up; also I hate the idea of trying to impose any one religion/religious tradition on others) but this article was really good and sort of transcends any one religion. We treat everything as disposable, and it's leading us to treat our planet as disposable. Unfortunately, that's not really an option we have. Do you see us terraforming new earths anytime soon? I don't either.

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