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 9,441 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
Hysterical right-wingers and kkkristian fundamentalist whack jobs already label the above findings as a call for euthanasia.
“See, I told you so! Obama wants to kill your previously brainwashed children!”
We might consider a tax penalty (disincentive) for having more than two children – no exemption for more. In fact, having four might result in losing exemptions for all of them. Six or more, the parents lose exemptions too. Extreme, yes, but lots fewer obscene Octi-Mom Baby Bank careerists.
NO RIGHTS FOR WOMEN?
Right wing nuts pressure congress to exclude reproductive health care, including abortion and want to limit a woman’s ability to choose a health care provider. Separate church and state. Millions of women rely on community health care to provide the full range of services to those who desperately need it. Women deserve full access to health care without ignorant moralistic religious impositions on the national law and health of free American citizens. We must make these superstitious fanatics take their filthy claws off American women.
Women’s basic health care is a priority; women must not be worse off under health care reform. Health care reform should INCREASE access, not DECREASE it. Health care should include reliable practical information on birth control and explain the real consequences of human overpopulation. We must resist the control freak loonies who distort our national dialog and cause countless deaths and untold misery to serve their archaic nihilistic and arguably suicidal ideological madness.
I first became a genuine environmentalist while in the Navy. I did some South Seas reef diving and became a bogus shell collector, proud to take only “live” shells, boiling them clean when I got home, thinking that the conchs smelled like particularly good seafood. The conchs taught me what I needed to know. I found one lying on the sandy bottom, spotted more, and soon harvested five. Score! I took them home, and while they were boiling, did the research – which strikes me as humanity’s general approach to nature, learning about it after we’ve shot, stabbed, strangled and/or overbuilt it. On this occasion I learned that conchs eat the brittle star, which eats live coral, exposing the reef to erosion, which exposes the island to the waves. I had helped to destroy the balance, enabling one species to overwhelm another, breaking the co-dependent chain that sustains all. My ignorance gave the planet deeper grief than could be guessed. Multiplied by a legion of ignorantly indifferent shell collectors, the islands were doomed. Adding greed and superstition to the equation, which institutionalizes and exalts ignorance, we have the entire human race’s approach to the planet today.
Global warming, global dimming, and overpopulation beset us. We are overheating the planet, interfering with its rainfall, changing the ocean currents, destroying the bottom of the food chain, and breeding like rabbits. But, not to worry, it’s all in some cockamamie book or other; written by ancient nomadic desert dwellers that knew nothing about science, who maintained – unreasonably – that’s it’s all out of our control. Some supreme invisible sky being is “planning” everything for us and in the end, if you believe this drivel, all will come out just hunky-dory. It’s all for the best, just ask Pat Robertson, or any other cockamamie right wing true believer.
The rich who benefit most from natural destruction, and all who help them, are intentionally committing high crimes and misdemeanors against life on this planet; they would be felonies if committed against human beings – “but we gotta kill those forests to feed all those babies” (lining fat pockets). Until it ends.
The numbskulls are corrupting our laws and tossing aside every value other than material profit and individual power, still subdividing farmland, planting high-rise condos on our waterfronts, eating the spoils of the global holocaust, and taking immense pride in their ability to waste gas and ruin the air in a Hummer.
Many people care more about some redneck bastard’s (literally) paternity on Jerry Springer, than the planet’s survival. Money, sex, drugs, and cheap thrills prevail – as commodity, as constant pastime, as life pursuit. It’s obvious that we’re much too stupid as a species to prevent our own extinction; it’s just too bad we have to take most other species with us when we go – bad sports us.
Alas, it was such a beautiful planet. Now, it’s on its way to becoming a lifeless and barren husk. Don’t think of it as desert, think of it as Palm Springs after all the water runs out. Mars is us.
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.