Friday, June 6

Ya win some, ya lose some

Two big pieces of news this week, as far as I'm concerned. The first is that it seems the SUV is finally starting to go the way of the tail fin. That's a win.

And then Senate Republicans blocked passage of the first, very tentative, US bill to address global warming. Their argument was that the bill would eliminate jobs and raise gas prices... which seems painfully short-sighted to me.

When it comes to Climate Change, we have two options. We can either adapt now in an effort to prevent the worst or we can adjust to the changing climate by doing more of the same -- more air conditioners for hot weather, more pesticides to make up for soil loss, more habitat destruction for growing more feed stock. But progressively, climate change (and peak oil) will make us change our ways and we'll end up exactly back in the place we're talking about going right now. It's the choice between gorging between Thanksgiving and Easter then signing up for two boot camp classes and Spinning just before swimsuit season starts, or eating moderately and walking 10,000 steps a day all year long. They both end up in the same place, but the second compounds all the delayed self-restraint and turns it into suffering.

Many jobs as we know them may go away. But manufacturing will be re-localized, bringing those jobs back to our neighborhoods. Oil prices will increase, but we will be re-creating neighborhoods so that food, work, and good schools will be in walking distance. If the economy slows down but we each have everything we need, plus more free time, isn't that a net benefit?

Most frustrating to me is that Senator John McCain, who's home state -- Arizona -- gets enough sunshine to power the entire US with existing solar technologies (if only we would upgrade the infrastructure and invest in building the capacity), didn't vote on the bill because it did not contain enough incentives for nuclear-generated power.

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NotSoBigLiving is the story of a woman inspired by Sarah Susanka, Bill McKibben, Airstreams, Tumbleweed houses, Mennonites, Jimmy Carter, hippies, survivalists, Anasazi, Pema Chodron and Joko Beck, Scott Peck, Buckminster Fuller, and Al Gore to see what she can do to reduce her carbon footprint in her mid-80's suburban townhome. Strategies include roommates, alternative travel, organic eating, planting a victory garden, mindfulness, and a belly full of laughter.