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30 March 2005 @ 03:15 pm
I am not paranoid  
A report by 1300 scientists from 95 countries says we are using the earth's resources at an unsustainable rate.

"At the heart of this assessment is a stark warning. Human activity is putting such strain on the natural functions of Earth that the ability of the planet's ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted.

"The provision of food, fresh water, energy, and materials to a growing population has
come at considerable cost to the complex systems of plants, animals, and biological
processes that make the planet habitable.

"As human demands increase in coming decades, these systems will face even greater
pressures--and the risk of further weakening the natural infrastructure on which all
societies depend.

"Protecting and improving our future well-being requires wiser and less destructive use
of natural assets. This in turn involves major changes in the way we make and
implement decisions.

"We must learn to recognize the true value of nature--both in an economic sense and
in the richness it provides to our lives in ways much more difficult to put numbers on.

"Above all, protection of these assets can no longer be seen as an optional extra, to be
considered once more pressing concerns such as wealth creation or national security
have been dealt with. ..."

I'm trying to stay calm. There's nothing here I haven't heard before. It's just seeing it in black and white, and knowing that we could make things better if everyone chose to. But what action is taken will be too little, and not enough. America will not put off self-gratification, even if it knows it will lead to disaster.

I will continue to work to change things, because I have to. I can't sit back and let things happen.

But anyone who reads this-- think about what you do. Consider that turning on a light, using your computer, watching TV is possible because fossil fuels power the electric plants. Use only what's necessary. Don't let complacency lead us to death.

I pray for us, that we may all see the wisdom in curbing appetite, and make the changes we need to live better with the earth.
(Anonymous) on March 30th, 2005 01:04 pm (UTC)
I empathize with what you are feeling, but we (Americans) are already setting an example for the rest of the world. We have:

Hybrid Cars (Toyota, Ford)
Flex Fuel Vehicles (use both gasoline and ethanol) Ford and Dodge have had these for years.
Wind Powered Energy Sources (www.greenmountain.com)
Solar Energy Companies (www.thesolarenergycompany.com)

My point is, yes, things are bad. But for every bad thing you can find, there are positive things happening also. Perhaps try looking for ways that things are changing. Positive things. If you keep dwelling on the negative, you'll just make yourself feel worse. There are always two sides to every coin. If you look at the big picture, everything evens out. Just a thought.

Elletheletterelle on March 30th, 2005 06:23 pm (UTC)
We have a tiny fraction of the earth's population, yet we use 1/4 of the earth's oil. That is not a good example.

And yes, I'm trying to focus on positive things. I'm planning my move, I'm looking forward to the day I run my cars on biofuel and eat from my garden. I know that I won't be alive to see the worst effects, and I'm grateful for that.

I'm just trying to look at it realistically, without saying things are okay because I want them to be. It's hard, with the disorder I have, to be rational about this. It's one hell of an exercise. :) But I'm processing it as best I can, and there's still part of me that hopes for the best, even as I fear the worst.

*hugs you*
(Anonymous) on March 31st, 2005 12:56 pm (UTC)
Sorry hon, it just distresses me to see you still in the grip of this malady even after all these years. Lisa (of Scott & Lisa) suffers from it too, and it bugs me that I can't help two of my oldest friends. Lisa's seeing someone for it, and I'm still looking for the contact info for you (good news - she WILL be at the conference this year - I'll find her then. Hold out for a month.) but that seems to be all I can do for now. If there is anything else I can help with, let me know.

Elletheletterelle on March 31st, 2005 02:59 pm (UTC)
I know, you went through it with me a bunch. I'm seeing someone as well, but I really do want to talk to that person you have.

As for help, want to buy a book? :)
(Anonymous) on April 1st, 2005 10:41 am (UTC)
Sorry, hon. I only read e-books. Saves paper, and I have to justify my purchase of this Treo somehow :)

Mearimeari on March 30th, 2005 01:17 pm (UTC)
Up here we ge all of our power from renewable energy, IE the wind farms in Madison county.

Every litle bit helps.
Elle: I want to go hometheletterelle on March 30th, 2005 06:24 pm (UTC)
God, SO lucky. I can't wait until I have a home powered by renewables.
eaceac on March 30th, 2005 05:30 pm (UTC)
You are not paranoid.
Elle: Hug me!theletterelle on March 30th, 2005 06:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I wonder if anyone will change their patterns of consumption based on this report?
eaceac on March 30th, 2005 06:40 pm (UTC)
(by the way, I didn't think you were paranoid before this report, either.)

My estimation is that most people and corporations won't change their pattern of consumption until the government forces them to. We need a government who will make it clear to people that their rights do not take precedence over our survival as a race.

I will be looking at ways to gradually improve my environmental habits when I graduate at the end of April, but I feel helpless, too.

(We only have one car - a Honda Civic. When we replace it, we'll buy hybrid. There's far too much driving in our lifestyle, but I don't have a solution for that right now. We were Green Moutain energy customers, but were dropped the summer Enron fucked California over for energy supplies. Water consumption, recycling and reducing waste are still big issues, as is buying sustainable and organic. I have to concetrate, see what we can afford, rope my husband in, and prioritize the things that have the most impact. *sigh*)
Elle: Metoliustheletterelle on March 31st, 2005 03:04 pm (UTC)
I don't think even the government will help, unless they can convince people there's a problem. People will just vote out the government that tries to curb their spending and destruction. And the corporations that own our government absolutely won't stand for anything that'll affect their bottom line for the current quarter. Fifty years off? Hell, they don't care.

It's hard to figure out what to do, when this pervades our entire existence. Like I said, most places you can't turn on a light without burning fossil fuel.

My car's a Civic too, but I'm going to replace it with a diesel and make biodiesel. Which I've already gone over, so I won't reiterate all the good things about biodiesel. But within another 5 years or so, they may be selling diesel hybrids in the US. That's what I really want. Biodiesel that gets 60 mpg? Hell yeah!

Tyellastyellas on March 30th, 2005 06:48 pm (UTC)
NZ is at 73% renewable sources for our electricity. The rest is a mix of coal and natural gas, which are both sourced locally - though the gas is about to run out.

I don't know if this can really be replicated outside New Zealand, though. We have a lot of rivers, a lot of volcanic hills for the rivers to tumble down, a lot of geothermal steam and wind, and the infrastructure for a lot of this was put into place back when New Zealand had a small population, avoiding NIMBY issues. NIMBY issues have come up with the proposed expansion of our wind farms, but they're going ahead anyway. I believe NIMBY has brought some wind farm proposals in Massachusetts to a screeching halt.
Elletheletterelle on March 31st, 2005 03:05 pm (UTC)
*nod* Most developed countries are way ahead of us when it comes to energy from renewables. I think we'll jump on the train, but much much later. I just pray oil prices continue to rise.
eaceac on March 31st, 2005 04:20 am (UTC)
psst. news that doesn't totally suck: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=627022
Elle: Beautiful Taytheletterelle on March 31st, 2005 03:06 pm (UTC)
I read that. :) But I'd like to know how they're splitting off the hydrogen atom. Because in experiments, they've used fossil fuels to prepare the hydrogen.