I’ve been hit by a lot of spam since my last post (could be a coincidence …). One post actually did relate to the contents of this blog. For that person’s benefit I am going to repeat what I’ve posted before. This is a denial-free zone on the topic of climate change. I’m not going to argue with you about climate science, neither am I going to allow you to post climate-denial claims. I believe what 98% of the climate scientists in the world are telling us. That does not make me an extremist – it makes me mainstream.
I am going to take this opportunity to respond to your assertion that people who accept personal responsibility for their impact on the environment by acting to reduce their carbon footprint are anti-science, anti-technology and anti-trade.
I’ve been involved in this community for two years now. Far from being Luddites, the folks I’ve met are knowledgeable about mainstream climate science and often about energy, agriculture, waste, transportation, urban planning and other relevant issues. They are teachers and professors, computer techies and architects, engineers and nurses, beekeepers, business owners, backyard inventors, organic farmers, students and retired folks. It’s been a pleasure to get to know so many talented, interesting people, some new to the issue and others who have been involved for years, all coming at this challenge from their own unique perspective.
Many people I’ve met are – or strive to be – technologically savvy regarding existing, emerging and appropriate technologies. Yes, we use computers and cell phones and even drive cars. That doesn’t make us hypocrites; it makes us members of modern American society — imperfect. It’s about progress, not perfection.
That said, it’s true that many people believe the mere existence of a technology does not mean it is appropriate to use. Some people do have a knee-jerk reaction to technology. But for many people I know, it would be more accurate to say they take a cautionary approach to risk and a holistic view of benefits and costs. (They include “externalities” in their thinking, despite the desire of businesses and governments to sweep those costs under the rug.)
If you read this blog, you would know that the Transition movement is not anti-business and neither are we as a household. As much as possible, my household supports and promotes local businesses that provide jobs in our community, local banks and credit unions that build our community, and U.S. businesses that try to operate responsibly. If supporting the employment of my neighbors and the financial well-being of my community and my country is perceived as anti-trade, so be it. Of course, in a global economy it can be quite difficult to Buy American, but we make an effort. Do you?
You’ve not seen me state a desire to return to the Garden of Eden, but the Gardens of Eagan – you bet! I sure do write about fresh, local vegetables and pasture-fed, family-farmed meat. Climate instability will have a significant impact on our food supply, as was apparent last year when much of our national corn crop was lost to drought, and the year before when Minnesota fruit trees and berry bushes were severely damaged by unimaginably high temps in February followed by our normal deep freeze but without snow cover.
The purpose of this blog is to share what we’re thinking, learning and doing as we delve into the many interconnected issues involved in transitioning to a lower-carbon, lower-waste lifestyle in response to the reality of climate change. We also let people know about resources they can access within our city and our state. And we let people know how they can be involved in fun, educational activities in our neighborhood and in policy issues at the state and national level.
We invite comments in which people share what they are learning, the challenges they face and the solutions they have found as they undertake personal change efforts.