Thursday, July 3, 2008

The challenge before the GAC

Belmont convened a green committee after cities around the bay like Palo Alto had formed task forces and written a green charter. The green response around the bay and the world has been to peak everything- salmon, clean air, water, fire, oceans, oil, climate: going green was a way of forestalling the rapacious consumption that is threatening to destroy our home.

In 350 dot org Bill McKibben is trying to get people to understand that 350 ppm of CO2 is the carbon budget of the planet that we need to GET BACK TO! We are currently at 384.

Kunstler, of The Long Emergency, says we can't get there by driving. All the faith in technology is delusional, resource draining (at a peak everything period no less!) and exacerbating the problem. We need to be building walking and biking cities now.

James Hansen said two years ago that we had ten years to change Business As Usual based on present rates of the increase in CO2 of about 1 ppm per year.

Geroge Monbiot has a slew of proposals in Heat but still says we in the US need a 96% reduction in what we currently produce of CO2 by 1930 to be able to GLOBALLY manage the problems of a two degree rise in planet temperature.

Kohlberg recalls Carlson about a town that lived in harmony with its surroundings and that fell silent while writing on a the disaster in the making.

We need to dust off and implement our pre-50s technology when we lived in houses that required 90% less heat and cooling because they were smaller breeze houses that fit more people, consumed 90% less because we had an ethic of resource limits from the war and depression, ate 90% more nutrient and 100% more tasty food because we grew more of what we consumed and knew the farmer next door, drove 90% less because we owned fewer cars and life was relatively expensive versus earnings, and spent 90% more time with our community and family because we earned less and had more time since the post war ethic was to keep mom at home because of fewer jobs and because speeds were slower, closer to 20 mph on our roads built for horse and buggy and not yet expanded by Eisenhower to fight the Russians in a nuclear war on our streets. 20 mph streets can accommodate golf carts, an early 1900s technology still in use for and by people who understand the good life!

We know today how to build zero energy homes and low utility cost homes that we don't have to go to work for. We have built our unsustainable life styles on stress that has lead to chronic diseases from heart to cancer, literally abandoned our families by driving away, and lived couped up like the chickens we consume, gaining weight on a slew of drugs that destroy more that just us, while waiting for the shoe to drop (what Pollan said was a move from denial to despair without a stop in between.)

No comments: