Monday, January 12, 2009

Environmental Actions TODAY!

About a month ago, I published a piece on the EcoHome Magazine website entitled Shades of Green. In the article, the concept was presented as a means of beginning to green your life, your work, or your world - one day, one small change at a time. Often, the media talks about the need to change everything today. For most of us, we lack the means to change everything today, so we do what we can and continue to improve each day moving forward.

Different from my Decoding Green Building Blog, Shades of Green will delve more into the political and socio-economic news that is so hotly debated in all forms of media. I will share a lot more opinion here, keeping my other blog for information about programs, products and implementation.

This discussion needs to start on a much-debated topic, found in numerous media forms in many different stories. The economic crisis continues to affect more and more families and individuals each day. Bailouts seem to be a dime a dozen as each day another industry, State or organization petitions the federal government for capital funds to continue their work. Some groups are calling for tax increase on non-renewable energy to make newer technologies viable and the theories surrounding Global Warming and Climate Change are constantly under attack.

Who has the right answer? Is it wise to increase spending, while cutting taxes? Should job creation happen in the public or private sector? How will the economy recover with increasing debt, rising unemployment and continued uncertainty in the market?

As it pertains to this forum, a great deal of information of late is centered around the subject of Climate Change, which evolved from Global Warming. A heated debate, with no clear-cut answer from either side, with one small exception. Several outlets recently have poked at the term climate change because the nature of any climate is to change. Seasons change, weather patterns move on a weekly, daily and sometimes hourly basis. Climate Change is inevitable because it is all around us. Beyond that, do we really know what affect we are having.

On the Global Warming side of the debate, the implication is that without human activity, warming temperatures and carbon levels would not be an issue. By shear existence, we are causing radical climate change. On the flip side, anyone suggesting we have no impact doesn’t understand science. I am reminded of a line some Star Wars Fans might recall. While speaking with the Gungan’s about the Naboo, Obi Wan states, “You…form a symbiont circle. What happens to one of you will affect the other. You must understand this.”

Our world is no different. All living organisms are dependent on each other. What we do affects the rest of the world. There is so much wasted energy debating over who is right and who is wrong, little time is spent on viable solutions; solutions that work in relation to cost, environmental impact and ease of use. Technologies that replace coal and crude oil exist, but many are not viable because of cost or ease of use constraints. Fixing cost through taxation and price fixing does not fix the technologies, only makes the current versions more palatable.

The answer for today is simple. Many of us need only return to what we learned as Boy Scouts, “Leave No Trace”. Change your attitude, not simply actions, to reflect a feeling of conservation and eco-responsibility. Inaction leads to nothing so waiting for resolution in the debate is pointless. Make efforts to change TODAY! Then, commit more energy and resources to responsible living tomorrow, changing your own Shade of Green.

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