Blog Action Day 2007: The Environment edition

I have just learned that today, October 15th*, is Blog Action Day , and that the topic for said Blog Action Day is "the environment."

"Wow", you say. "Mike, you never ever EVER post about the environment. You must have so much to share with us!".

Truth is, you're all crazy but you're probably partially right about not having much to share today. My environment posts come out when that little cork inside me is overcome with seething disgrace in how I and others around me are treating the world we're in -- not usually through some sort of scheduled posting cycle**. Added to this, the environment is, uh, well, very much a part of my day job, so as much as I may like to delve into topics which I find interesting, it would not always be a prudent decision to do so.

We environmentalists are fortunate that Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and now Al and climate change are on everyone's lips (wow, that sounded so wrong). Al's donating half his prize to the organization Alliance for Climate Protection, and even though Al's on the board of directors for that very organization, I think that's probably the least he could do. Frankly, I'm not about to ask more of a man who does so much already, though some have -- like for him to live in a smaller house, take fewer flights, and generally just reduce the size of his own ecological footprint. He's clearly made a lot of people consider the little ways they can do their part in reducing their impact on the world's climate. And that, I think, is my take-home message today. I've said it before, and it bears repeating: Doing something is better than doing nothing.

People get caught up in the "why bother" attitude. If it's really too late to reverse the mechanisms that are at play, warming our atmosphere, the least we could do is slow the process down a little. Being environmental doesn't have to be about feeling guilty for all the things you're not doing. Being environmental can be feeling good about the things you are doing, and trying to do more, because let's face it, everyone can do more.

And it’s not just about the environment. It's about efficiency. I read an article in a well known Canadian weekly magazine to which I subscribe about the fallacy of compact fluorescent light bulbs, and the author, who up until I had read this article I quite liked, went off on why he didn't want to be told to save energy, and why should he bother avoiding conventional light bulbs which gave off heat when he was paying to have his house heated anyway? Well, doofus, it's because the light bulbs weren't designed for heating; it's a waste product. And seriously, people, how many products out there are considering the most efficient way to present its side effects? I'm going to wager "very few". But I digress.

So what is it I’m going to do? I'm going to plant some trees. Forty of them, to be exact. Not because I'm offsetting my carbon emissions flying across the country. Not because I like squirrels. (Though I do. They're small and cute and brown and I don't mind at all that they can read my thoughts.) It's because putting a child in disposable diapers for two years costs the equivalent of 20 healthy trees. While we have partially used cloth diapers for both kids, I'm going to go whole hog on the earthly apology. So next summer, I'm going to seek out great places to plant trees, guerilla style. So you might as well tell me what kinds of trees you like, because there may be a sapling on your lawn come June 2008. You've been warned.

Enjoy your day. Enjoy the earth.

* I wrote most of this post on Blog Action Day. Honest.
** That reminds me! NaBloPoMo and Movember are coming up!

Posted bythemikestand at 9:23 AM  

3 stepped up to the mike:

Jonathan said... 4:01 PM, October 16, 2007  

I learned yesterday that the easiest thing we can do to help the environment is not eat fast food.

It turns out that more trees are chopped down to make way for land to raise cattle for the fast food industry than any other reason. Unbelievable, but true it turns out.

Brianna said... 1:35 PM, October 17, 2007  

I'll find a place for a tree on my roof in NYC provided you personally come plant it...

SRH said... 3:11 AM, October 19, 2007  

I ddn't even know about the "Blog Action Day." It is like there is this blog counter culture out there that I know nothing about...

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