question everything: why bother

I read the Independent article, mentioned in an earlier post, and then re-read this article by Michael Pollan. His thinking, dark  as it may seem, is piercing and clear. We are most likely approaching desperate times, and nothing short of strong, visionary leadership, and effective legislation at every level is going to resolve the looming problems.

I teach in a small college town, where the administration of the university has taken some sustainability initiatives (like changing lightbulbs – the same thing that Pollan finds so alarming), but they are mostly on paper. It does not, for instance, have an effective municipal recycling program in place, spends thousands of dollars a month on cosmetic grounds keeping, and just this last weekend, served up over a thousand meals in cardboard and plastic, which as far as I know, were then trashed. On the other hand, community and students are doing some extraordinary things by establishing organic community farms, starting up small recycling programs, and establishing ‘eco’-houses, among many small efforts. Why bother? Read Pollan’s article.


Afterthoughts / bad joke: Why not have the millions spent on the TSA  transferred to community initiatives that address environmental issues. I know, my thinking on this one is close to sick: no TSA > higher risk air travel > reduced flights > reduced high altitude carbon emissions. But one has to laugh sometimes ;-).

Clinton and McCain talk about Summer-time suspensions on fuel taxes. Shame! Keep the prices high, and even encourage OPEC to do the same. I can’t think of a speedier way to curb gasoline emissions. If anything, increase taxation in the USA and transfer the income from this to research in alternative fuel and power technology. Perhaps more of us will stay around our homes and grow food instead of carbon-gouging through yet another Summer holiday.