March 31, 2005

The Forest and the Trees - Our World

from - smijer

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There's been some disheartening news, lately. It's probably already familiar to anyone reading this, but it's on my mind. Some of it is forest, and some of it is trees, but it's all part of the picture.

Have you read about this report? It was conducted by 1,300 experts from 95 countries, and it concludes that our world's ecosystems are in jeopardy of failing. In other words, we are not living sustainably.

Shamefully, Neal Boortz poo-poos the report. When the science contradicts his political views, Neal dismisses it. If the science reveals that human activity is harming the environment, then it is because all 1300 scientists are "anti-capitalist", and "anti-freedom". That's a shame. It's a shame that someone who has more listeners in a day than most advocates for environmental responsibility are able to reach in a lifetime uses his influence to obfuscate the problem. Researchers say that too much of the earth is under agricultural cultivation. Boortz interprets this to mean, "Apparently we're all supposed to starve to preserve the environment."

The problem is that if we destroy the environment then we really will starve. But no one has to starve to change our consumption habits. No one has to starve to create a sustainable agriculture. There is so much we can do to preserve the capacity to provide nutrition that future generations will depend on. It isn't too late, if we act now. This is a wake-up call.

There are big and small ways that we can make a difference. Eat more organically grown fruits, grains, and vegetables and less meat.

One hectare of land can produce 7500 kg of corn, 6500 kg of rice, or 1900 kg of soybeans. If instead that land is used for meat production, one gets only 490 kg of pork or a mere 70 kg of beef! - link

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Get with your church group and plant some trees:

Trees improve air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide that otherwise would contribute to global warming. An average tree absorbs 50 pounds of carbon dioxide a year — that's one ton of carbon dioxide during a 40-year lifespan.

Because the average Californian consumes energy that results in 7.5 tons of carbon emissions per year, each person would need to plant about seven trees a year to be carbon-neutral, environmentalists say.

Buy shade grown coffee.

Support alternative energy research.

Follow this example.

Don't start wars.

Speaking of war, another disturbing report out today is this one. Apparently, child hunger in Iraq has doubled since the war. I don't have any solutions for this one, only to hope that things will improve with time.

Uptown Ruler from Scrutiny Hooligans has some words of wisdom about mercury. This is an issue whose time has come.

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Posted by smijer at March 31, 2005 03:58 PM
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