First Thoughts

October 16, 2009

by Dan Abrams, Second Nature Intern

No Impact Week begins Sunday and I have mixed thoughts.

On one hand, I really love the absolutes idea.  Reducing is good, yes...but to a point.  Reducing the worlds carbon emissions will be a benefit - but we would still be emitting carbon so the problem still exists.  The only true solution is to stop these actions all together - produce absolutely none of the bad problems.

I also like that this is supposed to be hard.  An environmentally positive life will not be easy.  There really is no such thing as a "lazy environmentalist" or "101 ways to save the earth." Drastic and serious measures are required to legitimately stop global climate disruption.

But what I don't like is the message this gives.  People don't want to hear that to save the world from climate change, they need to get rid of everything and anything they love and enjoy.  People often equate the terms "saving the world from climate change" and "must live in cave." I don't even think I would live in a cave (so dark! And I don't think I like bats?) and that's not the answer anyway. But I think this challenge eludes to this bad message.  No Impact Week offers an interesting water reduction strategy: sponge baths.  Hm...not very practical.  The real solution is a way to take that hot shower that everyone knows and loves without directly harming our earth.

In a perfect world we should be able to do everything we're doing now...but without harming the environment. 100% clean electricity needs to be used to power our 100% biodegradable ACTUALLY DISPOSABLE products.  Our lives will most certainly change, yes. But life's comfort should not.  With clean energy powering our automobiles, for example, what we now know as a "car" may be  entirely altered.  Yet the fundamental principle behind the "car" remains.  There still needs to be a product that will get us from point A to point B with the capability of speeds 60 MPH+. But again, the only solution is a product that creates zero waste and runs only on clean energy.

I think I will manage to do this week though.  I love challenges and I love being hardcore. Go big or go home, right? Part of the reason I was vegan is that I work really well with black or white situations.  I couldn't eat meat or dairy..period. There were no ifs, no buts...period.  So this will be hard, but easy to follow.



October 16, 2009 at 1:19 pm

It is true that we need renewable energy, not just efficiency, conservation, and reduction in energy consumption. However, No Impact Week is not just about climate and energy--it's about lifestyle. Do we need to watch TV for 2.5 hours everyday, even if it's powered by renewable energy? Even if we buy tons of biodegradable products that will eventually disappear, aren't there still resources that go into making them in the first place? I think the point of No Impact Week is two-fold: (1) examining how we impact the environment and climate and (2) examining how our own habits impact our well-being.


October 18, 2009 at 5:16 pm

I think the deeper we are involved in what we do, the more passionate we become....but I try to think of friends of mine who have yet to produce a reusable bag in their this is something that could encourage others to get with some of these things.
Baby steps....for some.

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