Sunday, June 29, 2008

Our changing world, or what's a reformed Republican to do?

Our changing world, or what's a reformed Republican to do?

Funny, first I was a Democrat. High school, college, I was really liberal actually. My later in life Republican friends would have called me a tree-hugger (or worse). I wanted to save the environment, back before it became popular, or urgent.

Then I eventually got married, had some kids, and somehow got more conservative. I identified with the compassionate conservative, and forgot all about the world at large, focused as I was on my own little corner of it. I figured smarter people than me were paying attention to it, and they wouldn't let us down.

Then I woke up. From this horrible dream. Only it wasn't a dream. It was real.

June 3, 2008 - 'Arctic sea ice still on track for extreme melt' This is from the National Snow and Ice Data Center:

June 27, 2008 - 'Rising seas threat to coastal towns', from iol in South Africa

July 1, 2008 - 'Canary in a tux? Penguin woes signal problems; Research shows that global warming, ocean pollution present challenges' from

June 28, 2008 - Arctic's First Ice-Free Summer Possible Even This Year

These are just a few examples of recent headlines.

And then of course, I finally saw An Inconvenient Truth, and the 1 year later followup that Al Gore put out.

I must say, wow, do I owe him an apology or what! I can't believe I was so blind to all of this. Sadly, so many people still are, and the news is out there. But too many people are not interested. They bury their heads in the sand.

Although it took me a long time, I am glad that I am not one of those people anymore. I have made a conscious effort to change my, and my families, impact on the
planet. We are starting with several small steps. A few things we are doing immediately to reduce our impact are simple and easy things to do.
  1. We have begun to recycle - curbside isn't offered where we live, but we can take ours to recycling centers throughout our county on the weekends. It's amazing what that has done to reduce our trash each week. It's been more than cut in half!
  2. Also, we put up a clothesline in our backyard and since the weather is nice (summertime :) I haven't used our dryer in two weeks. I'm interested to see how that affects our electric bill!
  3. I have made a 3 week menu for the family, and am shopping in bulk and freezing much of what I can. We don't eat out much - I mostly cook from scratch. But we had been throwing away too many leftovers. We discovered that we can stretch one well cooked meal into about two extra nights of dinners for at least one or two of the family. So, I don't have to cook every night. If I cook 2 or 3 nights then we have leftovers for 2 or 3 nights. It has actually made my life easier. I'm also looking at creative ways to use fun summer meal leftovers. Like bbq chicken can be chopped up with red grapes and mayo and made into chicken salad, or sliced bbq chicken and layered with letuce and tomato and blue cheese on fresh bread for sandwiches. It cuts the number of times I use the stove or grill and saves me time too!
Like my blog says - small steps. But if each of us makes a few small steps, imagine what we can do. The cumulative power of those small steps can equal giant milestones. I've seen it with my kids as they learn and grow. I am an eternal optimist so I know I can see it with the human race. But we need committed leadership to help the recalcitrant. People have to want to make those small steps.

It's like watching a child in a therapy session. When it's something that's hard for that child to do, the therapist has to find a way to make the child want to work hard. Who really wants to get out of their comfort zone and push themselves? A good therapist finds the motivator for that child. Our leaders need to be like those good therapists. They need to find the motivators for people and businesses to become good care-takers of Planet Earth. And it takes small steps. Work on adding one or two little changes a week to your routine. You can feel the success easier with small steps. You get those to be second nature, and then add more small changes. Pretty soon you've made major changes and it wasn't as hard as you thought it would be.

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