Live Earth

Save the planet and watch musical performances from all over the world. Did you watch the Live Earth concerts? I didn’t, but I did catch the video streaming on MSN and I gotta say that it was a tepid affair — musically, that is. One of the best bands in the hundreds you could watch on the streams was “Rize” — a kind of pop punk outfit from Japan who had more passion than most of the bands I saw.  And to quote a semi-famous Seinfeld line: “That’s a shame.”

But seriously…

Politically, the environment writ large is the most important issue because it cuts across  political, social, cultural, and ethnic lines.  We screw up the environment to the point that we (i.e., humans) can’t survive on our planet, then all that other political and cultural stuff becomes moot.

That may seems like a “duh” statement, but if you break environmental issues down to human survival (just to be selfish for a moment) then you can get away from the stupid framing of the issue by those who oppose environmental causes. You know what I’m talking about:

1. Tree huggers

2. Prius backlash

3. Recycling nazis

4. Fluorescent lightbulb idiots

5. Carpool crapheads

A lot of this comes down to the fact that there are people who adapt to change fairly well, and those who grow resentful at having to change habits that lead to dangerous consequences.

Case in point: Since gas prices in our part of California is about $3.17 a gallon, I’ve been more careful about gunning it down the freeway when I go to work. I generally stick to the middle lanes and cruise at about 70 mph. But that’s just not fast enough for some of my fellow motorists at 4:30am. The vehicles that routinely travel at 90 to 100 mph on the stretch of road that leads me to work are usually (but not always) SUVs, pickup trucks, or high end sedans. I often wonder what kind of money these people make to waste that much gasoline, and if they ever give a thought to the consequences to their actions. The answer is “probably not,” since the vehicles they drive also acts a bubble from the world (both physical and mental). 

Since I do traffic reporting as part of my job and read the highway patrol logs of what causes accidents, it is often speeding, aggressive driving, or distractions that lead to daily wipe outs you hear about on the radio and see on TV. When an accident happens on the freeway, you know the consequences.  But it’s not just you sitting in traffic and getting miffed at being late for work, it’s the thousands of other cars that sit in traffic as well. These cars are generally idling or doing the 5mph “stop and go” thing.  And it doesn’t take an scientist to know that all those cars sitting in traffic, belching carbon monoxide fumes into the atmosphere, is a huge contributor to pollution levels.

Since many of us are often “bottom line” in our thinking when it comes to behavioral change (i.e., “What’s the cost to me if I do or don’t change the way I act”), I’m curious to know how expensive gasoline would have to be in order for you to change your drivng habits. For me, gas would have to be around $6 to $7 a gallon before I started to use more and more “Stategery” when it comes to my daily travels. And that’s just gasoline for my car!  If energy to power our homes increased at a staggering rate, how long do you think it would take for solar panels to go up on our roofs, or windmills spinning in our backyards? 

If you want to see how you can make changes in your day to day consumption habits so it lessens the negative effect on our environment click HERE.

–PK

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