Sunday, April 22, 2007

Earth Day, Earth Year, Earth Decade

One day a year to focus on earth issues is no longer enough. If we wish for life on this planet to continue in a healthy, happy and sustainable way, we need to make every day Earth Day.

I had occasion to drive to Cleveland this week. All along the freeway, plastic bags were ubiquitous: snagged in trees, shrubbery, their unnatural colors dotting the landscape. Joining them were untold numbers of fast food wrappings, cups, bags and other remains of the convenience lifestyle American hold so dear that we are willing to watch the temperatures rise and the waters dry up than face reality.

Some items from the back cover of Eco-Economy by Lester Brown (W.W. Norton, 2001):
* If the Chinese people were to have a car in every garage, as Americans do, they would require 80 million barrels of oil per day, which is more than the world currently produces.

* If paper consumption in China equaled US levels, China would need more paper than the world currently produces and there would be no more forests left on earth.
Brown's book is a "road map of how to get from here to there" in terms of a sustainable economy that works for the entire planet. Unfortunately, the only road map our government chooses to follow is the one leading to blasting Iraqis and their country into bits.

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