There is no climate change theme this morning, just random thoughts from another week of life on this precious planet. If you are a friend or family member, you know climate change is always on my mind. I don’t perseverate or wring my hands on the issue, but I do try to figure out ways to help solve the problem. One strategy is getting the message out to others. Sometimes I unintentionally offend people when I fold in the politics of climate change, but I learned long ago that it’s best to tell people what they need to know rather than what they’d like to hear. At all times I focus on information, hope, and action. Without hope, there is no action.
39.9 tons of carbon. That’s how much carbon I release each year according to a carbon footprint calculator I found on the Internet. My “contributions” to atmospheric carbon levels equates to 80,000 pounds of carbon. I’m not pleased with the number, even though the site says I’m 30.4% better than the average person in Warrensburg, NY. Hmmm. There are things my wife and I can work on, but overall, we do live simply. We keep our heat low in the winter and do not use air conditioning in the summer. We rarely, rarely eat beef, and try to buy local produce whenever possible. I know my car is too big. I have a mid-sized sedan that gets only 27 miles per gallon. That’s a problem. I also commute 28 miles a day and take at least one roundtrip flight each year. Our house could be smaller, also. I can and will do better.
Earlier this week one of my climate reality leader friends posted a wonderful animated poem with lovely background music. I shared it on my Facebook page and sent it to friends and family. They “liked” it. My daughter asked if I would put it in my blog, and so here it is: Shoulders by Shane Koyczan. It is truly beautiful. Caution–there is an “F” bombed dropped in for good measure. Think of the title, “Shoulders”, and you’ll figure out the poet’s message.
I’m still getting zucchini from the garden. Seriously. It’s mid-October and we have not had a hard freeze yet. I live in the Adirondacks, and normally by this time the garden would be bare of any vegetation. Not this year. I’ve noticed over the past 25 years that the gardening season starts earlier and ends later. I’ll call it climate change. It’s nice to get veggies out of your zone 4 garden in mid-October, but with that also come the mosquitos, ticks, and no-see-ums which enjoy the relatively balmy weather of a warmer climate. I’m not even going to get into the rising sea levels, ocean acidification…. that also come with a warmer climate. I yearn for the hard freezes of late September.
And so it goes. Till next week.
5-Minute Climate Change Mitigation Action Item for the Week:
Use this carbon footprint calculator to learn how many tons of carbon you and your family members release into the atmosphere each year. Then discover and act on ways to reduce that imprint.