Tag Archives: global warming

Being Eco Friendly Despite the Disapproval of Others

There are many things that makes being eco friendly challenging for individuals. The lack of support they often face can be a big one.

This is something my husband and I deal with at times. His parents aren’t precisely fans of the environmental movement, although they’re very good about recycling. But they also make disparaging remarks about environmentalism.

Sometimes what it takes is showing how much more effective being eco friendly can be. They weren’t too sure about our choice to cloth diaper our youngest, but they are certainly enthusiastic about the likelihood that she will potty train at a younger age than the other two. They can get behind that idea easily.

In many cases, that’s what it takes. Don’t just phrase it all as being better for the environment when people say they don’t see the point. Show them how it benefits you or them personally. Most people can get behind that.

It doesn’t always work, of course. The value presented has to be one that appeals to them more than the convenience or comfort of doing things the usual way.

It’s also a simple fact of life that not everyone will approve of every single thing you do. It doesn’t matter what you do. Someone is going to find something to disagree with or disapprove of.

If you’re trying to bring people over to your way of thinking when they disapprove of your environmental beliefs, don’t start a ton of arguments with them unless that’s what works with that person. Many people do better with being given the information regularly until it works its way into their thoughts as their own idea. Pushing isn’t always the solution.

That can be hard to face, especially considering the urgency of many environmental topics. But if it works better than shouting at each other, you use the tools you have to.

The topic of global warming and climate change meets disparagement from many people, for example. Even if they agree that the planet is overall warming, many say it’s not human caused and that we’ll cope with what happens. The very real human costs aren’t real enough to them to make a difference, and the future is too vague.

In this area I often change the focus. See what they know about ocean acidification, pollution in general, the problems farmland has due to overuse of fertilizers, the problems with pesticides, and so forth. These are topics you can get into that may be concrete enough to get some agreement that action in that area is warranted. It’s better than no action.

Sometimes you just have to face that some people will never change. For some it seems like practically a matter of personal honor to disregard the environment. They’re not going to change their minds easily and they may be vocal about their refusals.

You may not be able to change everyone’s mind about even the simplest of environmentally friendly choices, but you can try to work with people to help them see where they are willing to change.

Is Being Green Getting a Bad Rap?

It always amazes me when people start talking about global warming being wrong. It’s as though they think that’s the only issue that matters… not to mention that they often have a poor understanding of the entire issue. Then they’re sometimes critical of the efforts other make to be green, as though it’s foolish.

I just don’t get it.

It’s foolish to do things than can save money? That pollute less? That use fewer resources?

So many of the easy green things to do have little or nothing to do with global warming specifically. They have to do with recognizing that there are many solid reasons to try to take better care of our planet. There’s kind of a shortage of alternatives in our solar system just now.

Lots of the things you can do that are environmentally friendly are budget friendly too. That’s a pretty nice deal, especially when so many families are struggling to get by. That they’re also less polluting, healthier and create less waste are additional benefits.

Making your own homemade cleaners, for example. Vinegar and baking soda are cheap and can clean many parts of your house. They’re cheap and nontoxic.

It really doesn’t matter to me what you think of global warming. Whether we’re right or wrong on that one, there are other issues to consider. There’s ocean acidification. Ground water pollution. Air pollution. And just where is all that garbage going anyhow? What about wildlife? This planet needs more than us, you know.

These are the things that make being green important, not just global warming. I’d be delighted to be wrong on that one. On the other hand, I’d sure hate to disagree about it and get that answer wrong. Which consequences have the chance of being worse?

No, being green isn’t easy. There are a lot of habits to break, a lot of temptations to avoid. But it can be done.

Think before you shop and again before you buy. Do you really need it? Is it the best option? Will it last? Can you buy it used? Will someone else be able to use it when you’re done with it?

There are a lot of things you can buy where those will be excellent questions to consider. The answers you come up with can really help with the decision process and keep you from buying things that really don’t meet your needs.

Sure, as individuals we’re all “the little guy” but that doesn’t matter. Get enough people together and there is a difference, one that corporations will notice, and that’s where the bigger differences in pollution and similar issues can occur. But it almost always has to start with the little guy. If we regular people don’t care, who else will?

So be green. Be unashamed. And encourage those you know to do likewise. Don’t let the arguments about global warming and such get you down. There’s much more to consider.

Does Anthropogenic Global Warming vs. Natural Global Warming Matter?

Reading this post about AGW (anthropogenic global warming) skeptics made me smile. I’ve always been frustrated most by people who agree that climate change is happening but feel that humans aren’t causing it and shouldn’t try to do anything about it. The arguments presented very much mirror my own feelings on the matter, especially:

Even if you deny that GW is man-made, how is this an excuse for inaction? Using the same rationale, would the commenter refuse to put out the fire in his house simply because it was hit by lighting – not a man-made fire?

So often people mistake disbelieving in the causes or existence of climate change as a reason to ignore all environmental issues. That the issues are far more complex than what the cause is seems to escape a lot of people.

Pollution matters.

Even if one doesn’t care about the possibility of climate change, pollution should be a concern. That’s the garbage patch in the Pacific, for example. It’s the litter you see every day on the street. It’s the gunk contaminating our air that comes from cars, burning coal and so forth. It’s the runoff from chemical fertilizers causing dead zones in the ocean.

Limited resources matter.

This is another one some people just have trouble with. Even our oceans aren’t infinite. Our resources aren’t infinite. Potable water resources aren’t infinite.

Change means opportunity too.

A lot of people worry about what making the changes that environmentalists talk about mean to the economy. And certainly buying less means that there will be less consumption. But there’s opportunity there too.

Changing to renewable energy presents tremendous opportunity, for example.  Plenty of chances for businesses to make it big.

Finding ways to do just about anything more efficiently is an opportunity too.

Will it be enough? I don’t know enough to say. No one yet knows if improved technology can dig us out of the hole we’ve dug with current and older technology.

Which side to bet on?

Finally, for me it comes down to which side of the equation I’m willing to bet on.I’d love to be wrong about the potential consequences we’re facing. That would be wonderful.

But denying the possibility and then getting that wrong strikes me as the greater risk overall. Being wrong when denying climate change means risking it all, potentially, or pretty near to it.

I’d rather fight the fire than fuss about the cause or if it even exists.

October 24, 2009 – Can You Join the International Day of Climate Action?

On Saturday, October 24, 2009 there will be events around the world aimed at building awareness of the need for an international climate treaty to try to bring CO2 levels in our atmosphere down to 350, which is believed to be the highest safe level. Yes, we’re beyond it now.

You can find events in your area with this map. It’s just one more way for you to learn what you can do and show politicians that there is support for fighting climate change.