Tuesday, July 7, 2009

magic bus

I don't know about you but I have a real problem with people who refuse to acknowledge the serious nature of global climate change and I really have a problem when I encounter folks who deny that it exists or that human activity is in any way responsible for global warming. recently someone, whose identity will remain anoymouse, forwarded an article by a conservative columnist whining about how a report which claims that the science behind global warming is 'inconclusive' is being suppressed by the very governmental agency the guy works for (although they did not ask him to write said report). the columnist concludes her article by suggesting that the author of the report is some sort of modern day copernicus and is being persecuted by "the new religion of human-induced climate change." according to this pundit, people who believe humans are responsible for climate change are waging an inquisition.

just what kind of parallel orwellian universe are we living in? in my way of thinking people who deny the existence and seriousness of global climate change are essentially 'flat-earthers' - here is this columnist, of an extremely widely circulated publication, likening the guy to copernicus(his report, incidentally, has been discredited by not only his own agency but other independent groups; oh, the so called scientist of the report is actually an economist).

the language of scientific 'inconclusiveness' takes us back to the bad old days when the very powerful tobacco lobby used that argument to fight governmental regulation of its industry - cigarette smoking bad for human health - what kind of poppycock claim is that! those of us of a certain age remember quite clearly how the the reagan administration advanced the theory of scientific 'inconclusiveness' and used the argument that we have to "study it some more" to forestall any and all types of environmental regulation and protective action. more bad old days.

I, for one, am interested in creating and living in good new days - days when we don't have special interests use the bullshit catchphrase 'inconclusive science' to keep us from doing what needs to be done to save our fragile and beautiful blue and green planet!

I don't know about you, but I'm going go out there and embrace this new religion of 'human induced climate change.' yes, I believe humans are responsible for the planet. I believe the tremendous rise in human population with our overwhelming dependence on the burning of fossil fuels to power our lives is responsible for global climate change. it is frustrating to try and convince people who are set in their perspective and believe global warming doesn't exist or who reluctantly admit that it exists, but we can't do anything about it because it's due to trees or cows farting or some such nonsensical position.

I feel strongly that governments around the world have to act and act fast to put a halt to the problem with global climate change. but we don't need to wait around until governments act; there are lots of things each of us can do every day to help the planet and stop global warming. there's are tons of resources out there - want to get started? well just go here, or here, or even here for ideas

one thing that is really simple that can help reduce one's carbon footprint is to use public transportation. cleveland's local rta system has a new catchy ad campaign tying together riding the bus or train to helping stop global warming.

years ago I heard the expression that magic is making things happen - it is a phrase that I immediately latched on to and adopted as one of my personal affirmations. when it comes to stopping global warming, each of us can be a magician and can make it happen!

today's theme song is the wonderfully infectious magic bus, written in 1968 by pete townshend,

in april 2006 I gave up my automobile; ever since, if I need to go someplace too far to walk to, I rely on the bus or train. the bus doesn't have to be magic but I find that riding the bus is often a very magical experience!


Tom said...

I've always been a 'middle-of-the-roader' and believe that climate change is mostly part of earth's cycle,BUT also that we are accelerating the process, perhaps (probably) making it worse than it has to be. There are no easy answers, and I applaud your efforts! I wish more communities had better public transportation; I for one would be happy to give up at least one of our autos if the bus could get me where i want to go.

Chris Wolf said...

Another issue being "studied some more" before any conclusion is made is that of aspartame. It is well documented that it is making people ill, and causing at least 85 different symptoms, but the makers have lobbied effectively to keep it on the market. Congratulations on giving up the auto-I hope we get light rail in Minneapolis to ease my car transportation needs.

Unknown said...

Well said, Mouse. What gets me about the nay sayers is this: for the sake of kids at least if they could admit there's even a chance of what to the rest of us seems, why aren't they pitching in? The problem: the almight dollar. Thanks for speaking out & for endorsing public transportation!

New Yorker wannabes said...

Well said mouse!

I'm trying to change my habbits and be more careful. For one thing I am a big public-transportation supporter. But then I got people at work and some friends saying "Oh get a car, you have to have a driver's lissense!" and when I raise the environmental issues it's like I'm from another planet. That is bad...

Have a great day

Tess Kincaid said...

Hear-hear! Excellent post, Ms. Mouse.

Roy said...

"Ooh ahh, the Magic Bus!" Love it!

And even though I passed driver's ed with flying colors some 39 years ago, I never did get around to getting my drivers license. Buses are definitely cool!

Megan said...

I'm still learning about this subject, but I definitely lean toward your side of the argument! And if I could find a job closer to home, I'd ditch the car in a second.

But - I am going to enjoy teaching the offspring how to drive. :)

Unknown said...

Good for you, Mouse. What I would like to see, for a start, are cities built for people, rather than for cars - an end to the mall mentality in city planners that feeds our obsession with cars.

Jasmine said...

I'm with you on this one. I think those most strongly opposed to climate changes existence have a vested interest in the abuse of the earth, maybe a comfortable lifestyle they do not wish to alter or a lucrative business venture.

Little things, daily tasks make such a huge impact. We switched over to hessian and canvas bags for our weekly shopping a long time ago but only in the last few months have we extended our efforts to ensuring we take canvas bags to the shop when just popping out for milk, or tea bags, you know the results are staggering. We easily get 2-3 less plastic bags per day for remembering canvas bags for the last minute buys too... If that is just one household on one issue, then town or city is a scary prospect, because we do try and are conscientous, many are not!

Anonymous said...

Igot rid of my truck in favour of a smaller car. Less emissions and cheaper to operate( way cheaper ). The problem with public transportation, is that it isn't conformable to every-one's life-style( or work ). I work third shift. We have no bus that runs that late. If we did, I'd hop on in an instant. And reliable alternate forms of energy have been round for centuries, but I'll not get into that, here.

mum said...

Denial is a funny business. Just watch: the ones who've denied the evidence the hardest will be the first to point the fingers at others for not solving the problems they'll have exacerbated themselves.

The bus ads are great, and so is your post.

Here's to the Magic Bus - want to bet it was a Vokswagen and psychedelic-looking?

cheers from Graulhet, kimy.

Tom said...

I agree with Sandra about city planning...I have tried riding my bike to work, but a lack of sidewalks, no bike lanes and crazy drivers have pretty much turned me off to that. Some cities, like Denver, are designed around outdoor living and biking, but most planners haven't thought it out, and are very slow to coming around.

Cathy said...

thanks for posting this!! i feel the same way--so incredibly frustrated of people's denial about global climate change. I do everything I can to help the environment, but sometimes i get discouraged--like it's just a drop in the bucket against these powerful lobbies holding back real change. your post gives me hope. :)

Gary said...

Thank you! It is important to keep this issue in mind at all times and try to do what we can everyday. After I saw the televised special Earth 2100 I was so depressed and it made me shut down. Did you watch it? It didn't offer a lot of hope for humans.

In addition to energy issues the program also stressed the absurd increase in population. There are simply too many people on the planet and the numbers keep growing. And yet we applaud (and give tv shows) to couples who have a litter of 8 children! At least I am not adding to that number as any child I have will be adopted.

Thank you for the links as well. I think I will hang my laundry out to dry today rather than use the dryer.

Nancy said...

Yay! Loved this post. Even if climate change isn't our fault - the decline of every single ecosystem in the world certainly is. I gave my car to my son-in-law, we are down to one.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

thanks everyone for all the great, thoughtful comments.... it is assuring to read that most of my blogging community are all on the same page when it comes to the issue of climate change - that it is real. at least there is no nay-sayer making a comment.

in the u.s. we face a difficult situation many towns and cities do not offer reasonable alternatives to the personal car and suburban communities tend to be the worse in terms of options that aren't oriented on a rush-hour schedule.

since the rise of the dominance of the big car companies people in power have done all they can to undermine (and eliminate) public transportation options - look what happened to the street cars!

marketing has done a great job instilling the notion that having a car is part of one's identity - just this week there was an article about 'you are what you drive' - does that mean that if we don't drive we aren't???

don't get me wrong - I have always loved to drive and years before I was even eligible to drive I would fantasize about my dream car, etc.....exactly what I was trying touch on above. we are socialized to believe that cars are part of our selves.

well, there's a lot of great remarks and comments....and I wish everyone the best as they try to do all the little (and big things) to help make the world the good world that we want it to be!!

and let us hear it for cities and towns being built for people!

jasmine - you put it so nicely demonstrating how one household making positive changes can make a difference! thanks for all you are doing.

it is so wonderful to learn of all the things people are doing!

gary - I didn't see the show - I'll have to see if it gets released on dvd and if my library gets a copy - although with the proposed library cuts I'm getting worried about another public option going down the tubes!

yeah nancy! a family can get by quite well on one car!!!! I love learning about how many more of us are doing that. ah, just folks at the cutting edge!


Jasmine said...

If its any consolation, London is virtually run on public transport due to traffic jams and congestion charges with ever increasing zone areas. Most do choose public transport out of a sense of practicality and cost issues connected to parking fees and congestion charges.

Its a shame that the City of London do not act in a more responsible way in response to the demand for public transport. With more and more people moving to, visiting and commuting to London each year the cartoons sketches you see in newspapers depicting the London underground as a can of sardines is a grim reality and traveling in this way is not only unpleasant but bad for the health. Surely with the millions of daily users to public transport, each often spending in excess of £10 per day there is only greed involved refusal to improve the public transport services.

tut-tut said...

My god! come down here and read the crackpot letters to the editor, in which global warming is variously dismissed or is attributed to Al Gore's imagination.