20 February 2008

I don't do tags, except....

In addition to being a most sporadic blogger of late, typically I'm very lackadaisical about doing memes when I've been tagged. Ditto for participating in various reading challenges, weekly themed posts, and group blogs. It seems that as soon as I agree to participate, I break that commitment. I think there are still a few people I'm suppose to send questions to for the 'interview' meme last summer.

But, Emily tagged me for this meme created by Litlove & son: What to do in the event of a crisis. Brava! to Litlove for such an ingenious way of dealing with her son's fears about a possible energy crisis: have him write about it.

What do I fear about a serious energy crisis?
I fear that we are not doing enough to prevent a global catastrophe. We have made a mess of our environment and not moved forward with finding viable alternative sources of energy. Greed -- individual and corporate -- will leave our children and grandchildren with a messy legacy. A potential energy crisis is only a portion of the problem. If supplies of oil diminish rapidly, will we rely on other existing technologies like coal that are harmful to our environment? Burning coal and other fossil fuels contributes to climate change. One of the reasons for deforestation in many third world countries, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, is to get wood for fuel. Our world -- man & nature -- is interdependent; we need to be better stewards of our environment. Lack of resources and wealth are root causes of war; a world without fuel for transportation, with limited food supplies, with little access to medical care, is something that most privileged people cannot imagine, although there are people around the globe that live like this now. We need to start imaging it and take steps to make a difference. It is our responsiblity, ethically, morally, spiritually.

What would I miss most in a world with rationed energy supplies?
I think I would miss the conveniences of the modern world that I have known my entire life: being able to drive to the store and to work, allowing me to live where I do at some distance from both; lighting in my home and in public places where we gather -- restaurants, theatres, churches, stores, libraries; computers and access to the internet which provide me with information and entertainment; having the ability to heat my home to a comfortable temperature when it is cold outside -- I would not like having to chop or gather wood when it is 9 degrees; having the option to travel further than a day's walk by train or plane. I can live without any of these things, but I will miss the convenience of them. I'm working to cut out the unnecessary occurrences of the use of these -- like consolidating car trips, turning out lights, or setting the thermostat at a lower temperature. Conserving is much different than doing without!

What can I do to help?
I'm making small changes that can help. I started using canvas bags when shopping. I pay attention to overpackaging and avoid buying those products when I can. I try to coordinate my trips so that I do less driving (there is no public transport where I live). A grocery is being built within walking/biking distance of my house, so that will be one more option for reducing my use of fuel. When the weather is warmer, I want to ride my bicycle to work. I've started unplugging electrical chargers when not in use. I turn the thermostat down when not at home and at night. Spring through fall, I buy local produce at the farmers' market. Other measures that I could do but haven't done yet: replace the outside lights with CFL, turn the water heater down to 120, capture rain water for the indoor plants, stop drinking bottled water, educate myself more on legislative issues and write elected officials in support of those that protect our environment, encourage eco-friendly measures at work, church, in my neighborhood, register at Green Dimes or a similar site to stop junk mail.

What will you do?


Litlove said...

thanks so much for doing this, Cam! I do appreciate all support on this meme! And I love reading blogger's lists of things to do = they give me such good tips and ideas!

Melissa said...

Hi Cam,

This is Melissa from GreenDimes. You're so right about doing "little things that make a big difference." In fact, that is one of our mantras, here at GreenDimes. Thanks for mentioning our junk mail elimination service; my favorite part is the planting of trees.



Stefanie said...

Yay Cam! This is the year we are setting up rain barrels at my house too. We only have a few indoor plants, so the garden outside will be the main benficiary along with the cheaper water bill!

Courtney said...

Wow, the rain barrel one is a great suggestion and one I haven't thought of! I live in Pittsburgh now (duh) and it rains all of the time...this is definitely going to be implemented this year. GREAT meme - I will be doing it soon.