Recklessness Inaction

So let me get this straight: the argument a little while ago was ‘how could humans possibly think we could cause damage to the earth enough to change the climate. We couldn’t possibly have an impact on the earth’
(This from my interpretation of the climate change versus global warming argument.)

Now, it is ‘We have done so much damage that it is not worth it to make changes in our lifestyle’ I hear this as ‘We’re going to die off as a species eventually so why bother changing?’

It reminds me of the argument that people who chain smoke or drink heavily use to justify habits and lifestyles that have been proven to be unhealthy. In this case instead of a label saying ‘Smoking Kills’ maybe we should think that ‘Reckless use of non-renewable energy without a renewable alternative will tank the planet.’ or ‘Irresponsible use of resources = Earth death’ I’m sure there is a a marketing firm out there that could come up with a doozy…  Although it is our positive messages that make the greatest impact on change, not the negative…

Back to my main point though which is this-> While we may make decisions individually, because we are a part of nature – which functions as a system – our actions have a global impact. From the policies of global manufacturers that we purchase from to our own household habits, our choices matter.

Paul Erlich said: “The fluttering of a butterfly’s wings can effect climate changes…”  That is not to say that we should knock off all the butterflies for fear of a tornado. I think this science based thought supports that small actions can affect change.

Does it really hurt us to take a few seconds to think about what we need to do so that we can combine multiple errands into one trip? Does it drastically decrease our sense of happiness to be less wasteful?

I am not a proponent of Global Warming or Climate Change because to many people that topic is still up for debate.  I choose, instead to bring up irresponsible global actions surrounding resources, which are destroying our environment. The very same Earth that we rely upon to provide us with our basic needs of food, water, and shelter. We can not listen to the political and media babble which distracts from this fundamental issue and encourages us to be recklessly inactive.  Because of this, whether for reasons tied to climate change or not, we need to be responsible with our use of our planet.

Blog Action Day -or- Woe is Me Garden

This Blog Action Day on Climate Change and Global Warming I want to take a look at how the changing climate has affected my garden this year.

For anyone living in the north eastern Unites States, referring to the summer of 2009 is likely to elicit a sigh or perhaps a sarcastic laugh.  In my youth the seasonal description ‘April showers bring May flowers’ somehow became ‘April sunshine brings May, June, July and some August showers too!’  The temperatures were lower than usual and in combination with the excess of rain many of my plants had a less than ideal growing season.

You see, I have a plot at the Northampton Community Garden in which I grow fruit, vegetables, herbs, and some flowers.   While I like eating close to home for the lower environmental impact, I also think it is wonderful fun to watch things grow and to nurture them along the way.  But this summer as I was weeding, watering and planting another thing happened: my plants started to behave strangely in reaction to the seasonably strange weather that some referred to as ‘global cooling.’

First of all, my pepper plants never really grew.  When the plants finally got a little bigger, I was waiting and waiting for the peppers to come.  I’ve had peppers grow well in the past, but this year, nothing.  Research amongst my fellow gardeners and my ‘small-scale farming guru’ father taught me that peppers are of a tropical origin and grow best with heat, something which typically comes all of July and the first part of August, but only made a short appearance this year.

The other major challenge in the garden this year was my tomatoes.  The excess of water caused many fruits to split before they ripened and then the late blight, something that I have always know to signal the end of the season in late September, came early and wiped out a majority of the tomatoes.   Fortunately I had three varieties of the eight I planted which survived the blight.  The otherwise poor tomato growing conditions wiped out my hoped-for good season with this fruit.

I think it is important to notice that there are changes occurring and that we have some affect on those changes.  I don’t know if they are reversible, but I believe our daily wasteful habits contribute to continued environmental degradation.  Our environment supports life on this planet.  Shouldn’t we maybe pay a little more attention to this?

Changing the face of money through… Twitter?

While many of my friends find twitter to be pointless, a timesuck, and annoying, calling twitter users ‘twits’ or asking if I ‘twatted’ today you can still find me there @kirbonanza because I believe that it has value.

I find that with information and newsletters that I otherwise wouldn’t have time to read I can scan their tweets for titles of the important and pertinent articles. I follow a number of great environmental and evolutionary voices such as the Grist (@grist), Yes! Magazine (@yesmagazine) and EnlightenNext (@ENextMag).

But, beyond this I believe that twitter has another interesting potential use which is recently emerging in the form of two different experiments in alternative currencies, namely Twollars and KayGroschen.

logoTwollars are cash based, like a movie ticket or a bus pass, as in you can buy them with ‘real’ money. When you give someone a twollar the recipient can get money for this through donations on the Twollars website. It will be interesting to follow whether this catches on and becomes the helpful tool that the makers intended. Charities could potentially get Twollars for good tweets, good work, or general support.

NooPolis whose slogan is “A new world starts with you and me,” can be found on twitter as well (@NooPolis). When a friend who knew I was interested in learning more about alternative currencies told me about KayGroschen I had a hard time finding information that wasn’t in German. While my German is passable while visiting the country, this was out of my league. I finally struck gold on Twittter where I found users @RalfLippold and @kujawa0708 who were able to direct me to information in English. What I found was that KayGroschen is the virtual internal currency of the virtual MicroNation Noopolis (@NooPoBot). This wiki based simulation might prove to be an interesting exercise on re-thinking our systems.

As more people use twitter I am interested in seeing if any other twitter-based alternatives to currency pop up.