Do not weary yourself to gain wealth,
Cease from your consideration of it.
When you set your eyes on it, it is gone.
For wealth certainly makes itself wings
Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.
Today is Earth Day. On the serious side, if you think global warming is a serious issue that we need to confront – and 87% of Americans do – but you don’t know what you personally can do, check out these lists of action items, Top 10 Things to Do, and (shockingly) governmental suggestions. These lists includes large and small things you can change in your life to make a real impact. (This list, or more properly website, may just scare the crap out of you.)
Global warming looms terrifying in our minds, and we feel helpless to fight it as individuals. Factories produce more carbon dioxide than all the cars driving around; tankers and cruise ships burn gallons per mile; governments oversee everything. Your life seems so small, your car’s emissions a tiny brick in the wall of global warming, that even if you stopped driving altogether you don’t feel it would make any difference. You (and I) ask:
What will your hanging laundry to dry rather than using the dryer do?
What could buying free trade organic food do?
What could switching to renewable energy for your electricity do?
What could unplugging your TV, VCR, DVD player, and receiver do*?
What could my using canvas bags for grocery shopping do?
What impact does my buying less heavily-packaged goods do?
What difference does it make if I buy local foods?
Compared to world governments, to gigantic multinationals with billions of dollars, what are your tiny drops in the bucket?
The answer is: it’s a drop. Every drop counts, and even if you don’t feel the impact of your behavior, your great-great-grandchildren will. You speak with your money, and your voice becomes a roar when it joins with millions of other concerned (or terrified) citizens. Don’t hide in a cocoon of denial, and if you’re afraid – we’re all afraid. Draw strength from the fear, overcome the feeling of smallness, and realize that you can and must make a difference. Your choice to do these things, to live simply that others might simply live, will make the difference: not in your lifetime, not in mine, perhaps not in our children’s or their children’s. But it will, one day.
I guess the question is: What do you want your progeny to say about you in 100 years? What legacy will you leave through your everyday actions? Will you live with what you need, or will the addiction for luxury leave our children’s children with no glimpse of God in nature?
On the lighter side, I hope you enjoy this video, even if you did vote for President Bush two years ago.
*According to Professor Gottlieb, any device with a ready light draws some amount of power while “off.” You can reduce your electricity usage (and your electricity-related CO2 emissions) by actually unplugging these devices when not using them.