Useful And Fantastic: How Puny Are You
"Many people believe they are so puny they can't affect the climate or the degradation of the earth,'' writes Val Yule.
Many people believe they are so puny they can't affect the climate or the degradation of the earth. They don't think they contribute to the waste of resources. Almost everybody in our street doesn't believe they do anything to add to climate change. Over 3,500 people voted first for the Climate Sceptics for the Senate in Victoria. They hear about retreating glaciers and rising sea-levels and other people suffering natural disasters but it's far away and not their fault. Jungles and savannah have shrunk, and fertile land become semi-desert, but it's not in our back yard.
Well, look at what you can change, before you let the climate-engineers affect the climate by umbrellas over the sun and inventing bugs that eat the carbon with unknown consequences.
Just think, there are two billion of us, living well, and four billion living not so well, whereas up to 150 years ago there were only about 500 million of us all told. About 100 of us may get on space rockets to live on another planet.
So look at what we ourselves get up to at home.
See Google maps showing how much of the earth is cities, and how little is uninhabited. Have a look at your nature strip after someone has parked their car there when it is wet, and the nearest reserve when motorbikes or even bikes have been around it. Then imagine what all the 4-wheel-drives leave behind them in bushland and creek-verges.
Why do the local councils carry on about landfill sites? You only put one bin out for it each week and a quarter of your household goods out as hard rubbish once a year. But imagine your trash-can multipled by say one billion, every week. See your council's landfill site with its exhaust pipes for all the methane produced. Imagine all your three rubbish bins multiplied by every household in Australia.
Have you seen what happens to your recycling? Imagine all the energy, emissions and resources used for the five or six processes used to sift and sort and transform its components.
How much fertile farmland and original forest is going under to our new housing all.
Our cities even take water from our farmland – as with the Victorian north-south pipeline, taking water down to Melbourne that should flow into the Murray River from the Goulburn.
If you have lived anywhere for ten years consecutively, have you noticed the decline of birdlife and wild-flowers, and the increase in feral pests like foxes and rats? What has caused this?
Have you ever stood on a mountain at night and seen a city glowing so the night sky above it is orange? Cities have raised temperatures. We have parks in order to cool us up a bit.
Have you stood on a pavement and seen all the cars going by in the street, mostly with one driver per car or personal tank. Multiply them by all the streets in your town, and multiply this by all the towns in the world. See the pictures of freeways at http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/freeway.html.
How many animal and plant species have been extinguished in the past fifty years, compared with the past 1000? How many are threatened by expanding human settlement and appetites?
What of what we connive at in other countries?
Where has everything in your home come from? Get the kids to place the names of the things on a map of the world. How much emissions and resources were needed to get them to you?
What about the destruction by modern war?
Consider the resources necessary to rebuild. http://hindu.com/folio/fo0001/00010340.htm
The toll on the natural environment in Afghanistan http://climateandcapitalism.com/?p=1524
the destruction of the natural environment by Agent Orange, land-mines and permanent continuers of the war. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3798581.stm
The destruction of Iraq - http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14870
Our taxes help to pay for the destruction of war, and the preparations for war. All these raise greenhouse gases and environmental pollution.
How puny are you? Too puny to do anything about what you are doing? I don't think so.