Thursday, October 15, 2009

Doing my bit

Listening to: 'Take Off Your Cool' by Outkast ft. Norah Jones [Speakerboxx/The Love Below]

I found out about Blog Action Day via this post by Whacko. It seemed like a cool idea, so I registered my blog on the website, thereby making a commitment to blog about Climate Change today. Now that I'm sitting in front of my computer, I can't think of what to say. Oh well, I'll just ramble as usual then.

I can't say I was that bothered about Climate Change when I was growing up. What with exams, friends, boys etc., environmental responsibility was a non-issue. Then I came to the UK and my room in College had a recycling bin, the student body had an 'environmental officer', and we had a course on 'sustainability'. I was being more environmentally responsible, but not consciously...I was doing so simply because the infrastructure was in place.

Things are a bit different now. I carry a shopping bag with me at all times so I don't have to use polythene bags, I have a compost bin, I recycle paper, glass, cardboard, batteries, and plastics (at least whatever the Council has the facilities for), and I'm conscious about energy consumption. British Gas' 'Zero Carbon' option is pricey, but it ensures that my consumption is matched with renewable sources. And I really don't know what everyone's complaining about - the light from the energy-saving bulbs I'm using isn't harsh at all!

I'm not sure why I started doing all this. The infrastructure was available, yes...but it was by no means 'in place' like it was at College. I could've easily ignored the green wheelie bin and just dumped everything in the black bin. But something's switched inside. Environmental responsibility has kicked in.

The climate is changing. No matter what the cynics say, society's impact on the environment will someday blow up in our faces. We could lobby governments, criticise politicians for not making a genuine effort, blame everything on the oil companies...but at the end of the day, this is our planet, and we are responsible for our actions. I think the productive (and responsible) thing to do, would be to follow the 3R's in our own little way.
  • Reduce consumption
  • Re-use assets
  • Recycle waste
I mean, why not?


  1. I don't believe in man-made climate change so meh! :) I do believe though in protecting our forests, reducing toxic emissions and oil spills and such...

    and btw, recycling some stuff actually consumes more energy and pollutes the environment even more... (link)

  2. So you believe there are no consequences to our continual raping of the planet's natural resources?

    The current recycling options may not be perfect, I'll accept that...but it's only the 3rd part of what we can do...just 'cos you don't wanna recycle doesn't mean you can't reduce and re-use, no?

    As for the article, it's interesting...but maybe I'd be less inclined to disregard it as conspiracy-theorist propaganda if it was written by someone more involved in science.

  3. I agree that we should reduce our consumption and reuse stuff, but when it comes to that wealthy countries should take the initiative, since they're doing most of the using and throwing out...

    And of course I don't think that we can use our resources forever. It's believed that we'll run out of oil in the next 50 years and that'll have devastating consequences on civilisation if we don't find alternatives. I simply find the green-house-gasses theory a bit far fetched...

  4. ...wealthy countries should take the initiative... - fair enough, but if they don't (for argument's sake), does that mean poorer countries should just sit and wait?

    Wouldn't it be easier for developing countries to become more eco-friendly as part of their development? The way I see it, part of the reason for the lack of initiative from say, the US, is that it would require a massive change of lifestyle. Wouldn't it be easier for people in poorer countries to make small changes and develop good habits while they're still 'young' in terms of development?

    I agree that 'wealthy' countries could do a lot more, but I don't agree with their inaction being used as an excuse for other countries to do nothing.

  5. Well, people in poorer countries tend to use less, and reuse more. I agree they could be a lot more environmentally concious (don't cut down rainforests, don't litter, don't kill the Elephants, bla bla) but it's hard for them to make changes like switching to solar panels instead of coal power and stuff like that. These technologies tend to be expensive and inefficient.

    I hope that whatever development that happens is sustainable, that it won't be all a boom ending with a bust when we run out of stuff to throw in the fire. But in our mad dash to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, we're throwing other environmental and developmental priorities to the back of the line...

  6. I said 'small' yeah I was referring to the "don't litter" option rather than the "solar panel" option.

    What other environmental priorities are you referring to? I'm not disagreeing, I'm just wondering...

  7. Millions of dollars each year are going into research and develop new ways to decrease CO2 emissions, and that money could be used for stuff like reforestation and better urban waste disposal imho. I'm not suggesting people are less aware of environmental concerns, just think that all the money is siphoned away to battle 'climate change' instead of being used for projects (again, imho) are more worthy and actually affect the environment in a positive way...

  8. Well yeah whether the money is well spent or not is a matter of opinion...same as our differing views on space exploration :-)

    Research budgets are largely based on political agenda, and political agenda are largely based on public opinion. There is money going into sustainable development...the search for renewable energy (for example) is driven by a desire to ease dependence on fossil fuels as much as it is driven by a desire to reduce CO2 emissions.

    So yeah I agree that a lot of money goes into emission reduction, but I think other aspects of environmental research do benefit from it too.

  9. good post P.

    We had environmental mgt as a subject this year and it was quite the eyeopener. For ex- the grasshopper effect is when the heat created by the co2 and other carbon gasses heat up the atmohpere, creating water vapour from the seas. Water vapour is ALSO considered a greenhouse gas as it traps heat. Therefore the atmosphere gets hotter, creating more water vapours, ect. man,,we are in for a LOT of shit. :(


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