[See also POLLUTER BORN EVERY MINUTE reprise for full post]
TOO DAMNED MANY PEOPLE
WAYS TO REDUCE CARBON FOOTPRINTS:
ACTION: (Measure: Lifetime carbon dioxide saved in Metric Tons. Data from U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s personal emissions calculator and calculations by OSU statistics professor Paul Murtaugh. Annual totals based on lifespan of 80 – female expectancy U.S. Source: Paul Murtaugh).
Recycle newspaper, magazines, glass, plastic, and aluminum cans – 17 tons
Replace old refrigerator with energy-efficient model – 19 tons
Replace 10 incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient ones – 36 tons
Replace single-glazed windows with energy-efficient windows – 21 tons
Reduce miles driven from 231 to 155 per week – 147 tons
Increase car’s fuel economy from 20 miles per gallon to 30 – 148 tons
REDUCE NUMBER OF CHILDREN BY ONE – 9,441 tons
Under current conditions, each child in the U.S. adds about 9,4441 metric tons of carbon dioxide to the parents’ carbon legacy during his lifetime. That’s 5.7 times more than the average childless person.
A child born in China has a fifth of the impact of a child born in the U.S.
The carbon legacy and greenhouse gas impact of having a child is almost 20 times more important than other ecologically minded lifestyle choices like driving a fuel-efficient car, recycling or being energy-efficient.
The same conclusions also roughly apply to fresh water consumption. Fresh water has been and will continue to be cause for international conflict. The amount of fresh water on planet earth is finite and we’re running out.
Many children are born to people who are not ready or willing to raise them.
Many parents are less ecologically responsible out of convenience, e.g. using disposable instead of cloth diapers; buying an SUV instead of a compact (“The family is so much safer.” Not in the long run, Mom; bad choice for the grand children too, if any).
Abstracted: “Not So Carbon Friendly” Jennifer Anderson, Portland Tribune. Sound Off – Comment: www.portlandtribune.com
TIME IS SHORT
According to the best science, we’ve got ten years left to take this issue on seriously and save our butts. It may well be less, no one can accurately predict the rate of decay. It will take most of us to accomplish any earthly salvation, but if we don’t confront and dispose of our garbage, which includes, but is not limited to: religion; overpopulation; short-term economic self-interest; and our ostrich-like tendency to duck and cover in order to avoid seeing our approaching doom, we’re screwed.
We must stop over consumption, kick capitalism into a servant’s status in our democratic life, and curb the excesses of individual and tribal (read also national) self-interest. Impossible, you say? That’s my point: good luck and the spin of prayer is about all we seem willing to invest in our own survival.
Homo sapiens, Man the “wise,” we called ourselves; Homo sapiens sapiens, man the “doubly wise” some scientists call us now. Yeah, right. First step: pick up the shovel and find a place to pitch in; there’s a lot of work to do quickly, and it must be done well. No me-first crap, one for all and all for one. Meet you in the trenches.
A GOOD Place to Start: Center for Biological Diversity
Japanese fishermen riding a boat loaded with slaughtered dolphins at a blood-covered water cove in Taiji harbor, Japan’s Wakayama prefecture. US environmentalist Ric O’Barry has filmed dolphin hunting at the town of Taiji as an eco-documentary called “The Cove” which has started screening in the US.(AFP/HO/File)
Published on Friday, September 11, 2009 by Agence France Presse
Japanese Town Starts Dolphin Hunt Under global Spotlight by Kyoko Hasegawa.
TAIJI, Japan – To animal rights activists it’s a cruel and bloody slaughter; for Japanese it’s a long tradition: this week fishermen in a picturesque coastal town embarked on their annual dolphin hunt. Every year, crews in motorboats here have rounded up about 2,000 of the sea mammals, banged metal poles to herd them into a small, rocky cove and killed them with harpoons, sparing a few dozen for sale to marine aquariums.
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