Thursday, October 15, 2009



God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools. ~ John Muir

In a nutshell, climate change has come about by "mankind" messing with nature. Whether it be with chemicals, emissions, or any combination of items that have a negative impact on our habitat, terra firma, planet Earth.

I hope you had the opportunity to enjoy the 6 part series on PBS by Ken Burns on the National Parks. It was inspiring that many people along the way had the wherewithal, vision & wisdom to set aside lands to be protected, and not paved over and exploited for timber, natural resources, or for-profit exploitation. They had to fight to protect the land. The fight to preserve & protect the land was ugly and lengthy, but the simplicity of nature, the beauty of an area, somehow inspired the defenders of nature to stick with it. In the end not every acre of land is developed and held as private land. We have managed to preserve large tracts of land for the public, and each generation has the obligation to see to it that they stay intact and in the public trust.

This leads up to the here and now. I was mortified to hear that NASA decided it was a good idea to send a series of explosives to blast craters of the moon to see if there is water up there.
They are looking to settle on the moon, and having a water supply would make it easier.
The explosions were supposed to create a reverberation of a 6 mile high plume of debris.
Where do I even begin to critique this move? How classic that the USA would assume some blasting for resource extraction and exploitation would be in order? How arrogant that we would decide we have the right to mess with the moon, as if we had "dibs" on claiming it our own, and assuming a little explosive tinkering would be just fine?
I bring this up because humans have been and continue to be so exploitive not just on this planet, but now also, the neighboring moon. Frankly, we don;t deserve to be branching out to other parts of the galaxy, given our shoddy track recored on planet earth.

Unfortunately, we lost ground under the last 8 year regime, that considered Global warming & climate change something to debate. Rather than step up, especially since this country had the dubious honor of being the heaviest consumers, the Bush administration decided to engage in a game of challenging "if" the science was correct-- even when Scientists worldwide had compelling evidence that we were in trouble.

Profits got in the way of science and intelligent and responsible thinking. So now we need to double up our efforts, and make serious strides to care for our planet and become conscientious about making significant changes. Here's a list of simple things you can do:
  • Use Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

    Replace 3 frequently used light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. Save 300 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $60 per year. Take the Energy Star pledge.

  • Inflate Your Tires

    Keep the tires on your car adequately inflated. Check them monthly. Save 250 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $840 per year.

  • Change Your Air Filter

    Check your car's air filter monthly. Save 800 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $130 per year.

  • Fill the Dishwasher

    Run your dishwasher only with a full load. Save 100 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $40 per year.

  • Use Recycled Paper

    Make sure your printer paper is 100% post consumer recycled paper. Save 5 lbs. of carbon dioxide per ream of paper.

  • Adjust Your Thermostat

    Move your heater thermostat down two degrees in winter and up two degrees in the summer. Save 2000 lbs of carbon dioxide and $98 per year.

  • Check Your Waterheater

    Keep your water heater thermostat no higher than 120°F. Save 550 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $30 per year.

  • Change the AC Filter

    Clean or replace dirty air conditioner filters as recommended. Save 350 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $150 per year.

  • Take Shorter Showers

    Showers account for 2/3 of all water heating costs. Save 350 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $99 per year.

  • Install a Low-Flow Showerhead

    Using less water in the shower means less energy to heat the water. Save 350 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $150.

  • Buy Products Locally

    Buy locally and reduce the amount of energy required to drive your products to your store.

  • Buy Energy Certificates

    Help spur the renewable energy market and cut global warming pollution by buying wind certificates and green tags.

  • Buy Minimally Packaged Goods

    Less packaging could reduce your garbage by about 10%. Save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide and $1,000 per year.

  • Buy a Hybrid Car

    The average driver could save 16,000 lbs. of CO2 and $3,750 per year driving a hybrid

  • Buy a Fuel Efficient Car

    Getting a few extra miles per gallon makes a big difference. Save thousands of lbs. of CO2 and a lot of money per year.

  • Carpool When You Can

    Own a big vehicle? Carpooling with friends and co-workers saves fuel. Save 790 lbs. of carbon dioxide and hundreds of dollars per year.

  • Don't Idle in Your Car

    Idling wastes money and gas, and generates pollution and global warming causing emissions. Except when in traffic, turn your engine off if you must wait for more than 30 seconds.

  • Reduce Garbage

    Buy products with less packaging and recycle paper, plastic and glass. Save 1,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide per year.

  • Plant a Tree

    Trees suck up carbon dioxide and make clean air for us to breathe. Save 2,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide per year.

  • Insulate Your Water Heater

    Keep your water heater insulated could save 1,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $40 per year.

  • Replace Old Appliances

    Inefficient appliances waste energy. Save hundreds of lbs. of carbon dioxide and hundreds of dollars per year.

  • Weatherize Your Home

    Caulk and weather strip your doorways and windows. Save 1,700 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $274 per year.

  • Unplug Un-Used Electronics

    Even when electronic devices are turned off, they use energy. Save over 1,000 lbs of carbon dioxide and $256 per year.

  • Put on a Sweater

    Instead of turning up the heat in your home, wear more clothes Save 1,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $250 per year.

  • Insulate Your Home

    Make sure your walls and ceilings are insulated. Save 2,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $245 per year.

  • Air Dry Your Clothes

    Line-dry your clothes in the spring and summer instead of using the dryer. Save 700 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $75 per year.

  • Switch to a Tankless Water Heater

    Your water will be heated as you use it rather than keeping a tank of hot water. Save 300 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $390 per year.

  • Switch to Double Pane Windows

    Double pane windows keep more heat inside your home so you use less energy. Save 10,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $436 per year.

  • Buy Organic Food

    The chemicals used in modern agriculture pollute the water supply, and require energy to produce.

  • Bring Cloth Bags to the Market

    Using your own cloth bag instead of plastic or paper bags reduces waste and requires no additional energy.

  • Turn off Your Computer

    Shut off your computer when not in use, and save 200 lbs of C02. Conserve energy by using your computer's "sleep mode" instead of a screensaver.

  • Be a Meat Reducer

    The average American diet contributes an extra 1.5 tons of greenhouse gases per year compared with a vegetarian diet. Eliminating meat and dairy intake one day a week can make a big difference.

  • Ditch the Plastic

    2.5 million individual plastic water bottles are thrown away every hour in the US. Start using a reusable water bottle and just say no to plastic!

If every one of us fine tunes these adjustments, it adds up to a significant difference.
Besides reducing our carbon footprint, also leaving large expanses of nature intact is an important part of the big picture of planetary health.
I find it interesting that animals have an instinct to not ruin their habitat.
Humans, however still have a lot to learn!
So see about adopting some of these suggestions above & Muir power to you!


nonnie9999 said...

i replaced my almost 30-year-old central a/c, and my electric bills have gone down almost 200 bucks a month during the summer.

Fran said...

Wow! That's a big chunk of change!

My clunker trade in is getting 2x the mileage

I hope electric cars become affordable & the norm.... as well as solar energy.

Running a vehicle on the sun w no emissions.
Now we're talkin'!

Dada said...

Oh no! But Fran, if solar power gains popularity, you'll have to leave Oregon, won't you?

Great post. (Oh, and not to worry, there's life after the PacNW. The SW is booming. It's water we don't have. Bring lots and lots of water.)