Sunday, July 8, 2007

Live Earth

After all the sound equipment has been packed up and the empty water bottles put in the recycle bin, I really wonder if Live Earth will have any lasting impact on the people and countries it briefly touched. There was no great outpouring of "let's get busy and do something about the problem". Our wondrous leaders here don't even believe there is a problem. Of course their interests are in conflict with the facts. I've actually heard people from the religeous right say that it's man's duty to use up all of the natural resources until the planet comes to an end. That's much like the live fast and die young attitude of adolescents. Back up there boys and read the part of scripture that says that man should be good stewards of the land.
This live earth got me to thinking about what I've done in the last twenty plus years to help the planet. Most of my motivation came during the Reagan depression of the early 80's. Jobs were nowhere to be found so in order to survive we cut back on everything and I mean cut the budget to the bone. We eliminated two thirds of our lighting, put a two hour limit on hot water and basically lived and heated only one room of the place. When things picked up we changed the lighting, bought a more efficient water heater and added insulation. The energy bill however only stayed the same as it kept rising over the years. The Enron debacle didn't help things either. There isn't much more I can do to help the planet short of putting up large solar panels and running everything from those, something I can't do here due to costs and restrictions.
I'm also a bit disappointed in what's become of the recycling programs here. It used to be that they would take any plastic with a number 1 or 2 on the bottom. No longer and they don't take shredded paper after everyone tells you to shred your mail for identity purposes. That's about a third of my paper recycle. But the thing that irritates me the most is that if the recyclers get too much material then the excess goes into a land fill anyway.
So what can we do? We'll have to wait until the Democrats take full control before anything real gets done. And to think Nixon was the one who started the EPA.


J. Marquis said...

I know we can't measure what good the concerts did. But if you think about it in terms of the tens of millions of people who heard about it or watched it (worldwide) and all the small lifestyle changes they might be making, I think it was worthwhile. And this is only the beginning.

On another positive note, I'm seeing a lot of new Priuses and Civics and Focuses out on the road here in Seattle. I'm sure it's partly because of high gas prices but I think also because people want to make things better.

Demeur said...

I'll agree with you on the gas electric cars. I've considered buying one myself. The only drawback for me would be service. You have to take it to a Toyota dealer. If more shops would open I'd buy one in a minute.
Back to the main issue. With Shrub in office there's little hope of any major progress. He only gives lip service (and very little at that) to the issue. I've seen first hand what he's done to my own profession and I'll tell you "it ain't pretty".