Everybody turn out their lights!
Tonight from 8pm to 9pm people all over the world will be turning out all their lights. I hope you will be, too.
Tonight we're going to unplug all passive power consuming appliances as well, and no, we're not going to just sit and watch tv in the dark. We're going to light some candles if they're needed and play games at the dining room table. I expect this will be fun for everyone.
If tonight's a success, we're going to do it once a week. Every Saturday we'll shut out the lights and disconnect the passive power suckers (microwave, clocks, computers, but not refrigerator & freezer) and have real, honest family time (i.e., not tv time.) I suspect we'll not only reduce our consumption and raise our awareness but also strengthen those bonds that can be weakened by hectic schedules and the busy-ness of day-to-day life.
I've already heard a few people comment that global warming is a sham. Interestingly, all the people who say this to me are American. The thing is, global warming itself is a fact. The debate is whether humans have caused it. It kills me that people are so willing to grab onto the tiniest tidbit that sounds best to them. They hear bits and snatches or read one opponent's opinion and grab onto it because it's the easiest path for them. It's the path that doesn't require them to do anything.
I understand that methodology. I just wish that people who so willingly and immediately discount humankind's impact on the environment would stop and think it through. So I'm going to ask the Doubting Thomases to read the following and just think about these things:
- What if global warming IS a result of human-created carbon dioxide emissions? (Carbon dioxide emissions come from car exhaust, power generation, rotting garbage, the burning of fossil fuels, and other sources.)
- What if global warming DOES result in the melting of a major ice shelf like the one covering Greenland? (The answer is that the world's water level will go up by 25% and we will lose places like Japan, Greenland, the Netherlands, Florida...4% of the world's land surface will be under water -- places where people now live will be under water.)
Another thing the Doubting Thomases could do is consider humankind's effect on the earth and on their own species' health and well-being. Do we not have enormous amounts of waste, unlike any other species on the planet? Yes, we do. Do our wastes cause ill-health and even death? Yes. We have been killing off other living beings and one another through toxic wastes, destruction of habitat, pollution, chemical pollution. Shouldn't we stop doing things like that just for our own well-being?
I think so.
I know it won't happen overnight. I'm not one of those enviro-nazis, either. I wouldn't think of throwing Molotov cocktails on a car lot full of Hummers to protest their wastefulness. That's just stupid. I simply try to do better. I recycle paper, plastic, glass, organics, and aluminum as well as household goods. I don't use chemicals in my yard or garden and I have eliminated household chemicals almost completely. I try to purchase items that leave the least waste. I'm not always successful. I still have a lot of trash. Hell, I still smoke. (I will be quitting for good this year.) I consciously try to reduce my family's consumption, including energy use. I try. That's all. I just try.
I hope that what's going on with the climate will not result in an ice age. I hope that humankind can reverse what's going on and prevent an ice age. I don't know if we can. I really don't. I do know we have impacted our environment negatively and I want not to do that anymore.
Please post comments and let me know what you're doing for Earth Hour 2008. I'd love to know.