Sunday, April 22, 2007

Oprah Said So

Earth Day is today, one week after the National Day of Climate Action. I just noticed this morning in the shower, for the first time, that the shower curtain was made in China ... but why not? Why should America be making shower curtains? We could be producing new jobs in alternative energy and assorted green businesses, manufacturing wind turbines, making new hardware and creating more sophisticated climate change software. We could but will we? How many new, well paying jobs can we actually create? Can the environmental sector become big and noticeable, where even the most benighted politician has to pay attention if he or she wants to survive politically?

We're nibbling faster around the edges and some are now saying that Earth Day has served its purpose. More and more people are using CFL lighting, buying organic and so forth and so forth. According to the Pew Research Center some 83% of Americans think environmental laws and regulations should be stricter. That's the good news.

But there is some not so good news. According to Pew when you ask Americans if they're willing to pay higher prices to protect the environment the percentage falls to 60%. I know, is it half full or half empty.

This past Friday Oprah Winfrey devoted her program to going "green." She had the president of Shaklee on her program, a company she speaks highly of. I use Shaklee products and they are very good. Shaklee was the first company in the world to be certified climate neutral. Yes, Oprah has incredible clout. What if she devoted one day a month to climate change? Yeah, we are nibbling faster around the edges.

I am, however, increasingly uneasy as to why the honeybees are vanishing, maybe the real canary in the mine. What if it has something to do with cell phone towers? Are we ready to shut them off? It's going to be damn inconvenient if we do. But I may have watched too many disaster films, where one insect begins to act strangely. It's called foreshadowing.

Those glaciers are melting awfully fast and China is becoming a genuine environmental nightmare. Suburbia looks more and more like it ought to be behind glass at the Smithsonian. Talk about inconvenience. We're not going to "grow" our way out of this. That, it seems to me, is cartoon capitalism at its worst.

Jim Hanson, along with other climatologists, believes we have possibly 10 years to make drastic changes in energy use and overall lifestyle. Nibbling around the edges won't be good enough. Not even big chunks will likely be enough. It's only a vague unease at the moment.

1 comment:

1Green Thumb said...

It is good to see that going green is becoming more mainstream, but the problem still lies in our government and our failure to act. As you know the popular opinion doesn't seem to mean much in the united states if it did our troops would be home and Mr. Bush would have been long since retired from office.

Our political system is flawed and simply does not work fast enough if at all... it is sad to watch really, but the more buzz is created by these issues the better. It would appear that state and local governments are progressing much quicker than at the federal level and that is one bright spot to focus on.

Keep fighting the good fight...