Thursday, June 21, 2007

Paper or Plastic?...How About Neither


Following the example of San Fransisco could be a life saver...for trees and oil that is. They have recently passed a law that prohibits grocery stores and other establishments from putting their products into plastic bags for their customers. As of yet they are the only metropolis in the country to have passed this type of legislation. In the United States of America 12 million barrels of oil and 14 million tress go into the production of paper and plastic bags each year. These are valuable resources that we need to create energy for our homes and cars, and to keep the levels of carbon dioxide from getting even higher. Given, the use of oil for fuel creates GHG emissions, but if it must be pulled out of the ground it should at least go toward powering the things we need, not the things we don't...things like plastic bags.
A simple solution: We sometimes don't mind paying a little extra for convenience in this country, which is why this concept can seem so absurd to some, but buying canvass bags that are large enough and durable and bringing them to the store with us when we shop is an easy way to greatly lessen the demand for paper and plastic grocery bags. Of course, doing this may save precious trees and conserve an additional 12 million barrels of oil. It's personal green accountability at its finest.


Picture source:www.midamericanenergy.com

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Conversation About Global Warming

The following is a short conversation I had with a person regarding global warming as a legitimate issue:

"I suggest that you try to understand the actual data that the global warming scare is based upon. It is really hard to come by since the proponents of GW are mostly politicians and scientists whose livelihood depend on promoting the fear. I suggest that one read Michael Crichton's 'State of Fear'. It's a fun read and in the back of that book are many references to the pros and cons of environmental activism. One of the best, although a challenge for the lay person, is Professor Aaron Wildavsky's 'But Is It True'. We need to get past the paranoia and decide whether this is a problem that a) really needs our attention, b) we can actually control, or c) is just a quest for power by politicians. Stop trusting the mass media, they have no facts."
- Anon


I resonded:
"No facts?!?! The people that turn a blind eye to the science behind global warming do it because they either don't understand it or they don't want to get off the lazy-boy and do something. I admit that taking contributing action is not as easy as it sounds because it takes a certain level of creativity and non-linear thinking, nevertheless the science world as a near whole has accepted our (human beings) contribution to GHG emissions as dangerous and climate altering. I personally look at data, not novels or books written with a bias by a single person. 'State of Fear' is actually next on my reading list. I know he has researched a lot and I look forward to seeing all of it, but the scientific community is where I hang my hat on this issue."
- The Green Blog

Monday, June 18, 2007

Time Magazines Tip #23: Copy California


Arnold Schwarzenegger may have signed the world's toughest anti-global-warming law, but it is Democrat Terry Tamminen, his environmental adviser, who is emerging as the state's real Terminator, winning industry support and the endorsement of a Republican Governor for a mandate to reduce the state's emissions 80% by 2050.

But thwarting climate change isn't a solo effort. Tamminen left his official post to build a national response to global warming one state at a time. "I am trying to Johnny Appleseed what California has done," Tamminen says. His goal is to create a de facto national climate plan out of individual efforts in the 50 states. "He is crisscrossing the country and spreading the word," says Karl Hausker, deputy director of the Center for Climate Strategies. "Terry gets state leaders interested in doing this." Hausker's nonpartisan, nonprofit group handles the technical details after Tamminen plants his seeds. Nineteen states have developed or are developing aggressive climate plans based on the work of Hausker's group and Tamminen. So much progress is being made at the state and regional level, Tamminen says, that "by the time that there is a new Administration in the White House, a majority of Americans will live in states with a meaningful plan that deals with the climate-change issue."


Source: Time Magazine; April 9th, 2007 issue