Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ahead or Behind

The times. I'm not sure which we are.

Were we the last two people on Earth to watch An Inconvenient Truth? Why didn't we watch it before? Is it required viewing for every high school senior in Government class yet? Is it required viewing for senators, congressmen, city councilpersons, mayors, or governors?

The movie underscored the importance of The Election This Year. I've always thought the framers of the Constitution were amazing and wise, partly because how much damage can one guy do in four years? (History may show it can be quite a lot.) I've perfected my ostrich imitation pretty well over the past eight years, but now I'm wondering if that was the right thing to do. Maybe I should have been working on an imitation of a typical relentless three-year-old who wants a toy and focusing that juju on my elected officials instead.

We are two well-educated people with a scientific background and we have been watching the evidence pile up on the dangers of global warming and climate change. We were stuck inlived in the LA area for thirteen long years. We became experts on estimating daily air quality. We simply looked across the street to see if we could see our neighbor's house or not. We also learned a Stage One alert doesn't just make things look foggy, but can drive you indoors with burning lungs after just fifteen minutes of working outside.

We love camping, hiking, rock-hounding, botany and wild animals in situ. Ecology and the environment have always been pretty important to us. Being a tree hugger is a good thing in our opinion. Even more so when we became parents and realized our children were going to inherit our mistakes or successes.

So we've always tried to buy cars with good gas mileage and were astonished when our second Subaru got the same gas mileage as the first one (17 years separated the buying trips). Even though gas was still relatively cheap in 2002, it seemed like there should have been some progress toward better mpg's, but apparently creating SUVs was more important.

We've never owned a gas-powered mower--nasty noisy things that make lawns a job instead of a pleasure and which emit more pollutants from a gallon of gas than a car does during an eight-hour drive. I liked our push mower until the drought-resistant tall fescue in our backyard became impossible to mow if I left it three days too long. We are on our second electric mower--easy to start, quiet, earth friendly.

I walk or bike to work as much as possible. I became a Bag Lady after learning to sew fabulously cute grocery totes several years ago. We recycle everything that WM allows. We buy organic when possible, grow our own fruit and veggies, and frequent the farmers' market before our crops mature. We look for Energy Star appliances, turn out lights and avoid doing laundry during the peak energy periods. As homeowners we've tried to enrich our little plots of earth by improving our soil, gardening without harmful chemicals, and planting wisely and well .

We try. It's not hard to do because it's important to us.

The message seems to be filtering down into our national consciousness. We talk about being Green or if a product is eco-friendly. I think we're on the right track.

The next president we choose can make all the difference in the world. Literally. Why are we one of only two nations who've not signed the Kyoto Protocols? Why have our leaders been afraid to lead? Why haven't they been protecting our future instead of looking in a rear view mirror? Why haven't they been honest in evaluating the scientific evidence instead of coddling the truth-twisters? Shame on them.

Shame on us if we let them continue. Demand to know a candidate's views. Let's have a president with some moral fortitude rather than one who dishes up moral platitudes.

It's just a suggestion but I think we should add a constitutional amendment requiring an IQ test for presidential candidates as well as a lie detector printout during presidential speeches.

1 comment:

  1. my dad has an electric lawn mower. Doug would rather die than use it.