Sunday, February 22, 2009

Toxins and You!

I am personally very concerned with all of the toxins in our environment. From the petro-chemicals used to make stain-resistant fabric to our water supply being saturated with pharmaceuticals, the sad truth is theres no where to run. Our environment and our planet for that matter has become an ever growing toxic dump. My solution is simple. We can use technology today to prevent the accumulation of all of these toxins to begin with. If we aren't making toxins anymore we wont have to worry about them in the future. In addition, we have more then enough technology and resources to also properly cleanup all of the existing and past toxic sites the world round; if all nations were to cooperate to do so.
So why then if we have the technology and resources to do this do we choose not to? We don't do any thing about it because theres no money to made in doing it. Money is at the heart of this problem. Until our monetary system is addressed I'm afraid that toxins in the environment and the environment itself for that matter will remain a low priority in our world, as long as our monetary system remains a higher one.

Conservation of Species

In my opinion the only reason the conservation of species on Earth is expensive is because we make it expensive. I am a strong believer that our monetary system holds us back from accomplishing many feats; the conservation of species being one example. For if we were to shed the illusion that "money" is holding us back, a new realization arises. That realization is that we have knowledge, technology, and resources to conserve all species. By conserve I mean that we have the ability to leave all species alone and simply not interfere with them. I strongly believe that all species on Earth (those established and emergent) are all interconnected. To take it a step further, I believe that our "interconnectedness" is the key to not only our survival but the survival of all species on Earth. With that being said, I propose that future conservation efforts be centered around the understanding that EVERY species on our planet is important and plays a role. Understanding the roles each species plays and how they connect to other species is also key. However, I don't believe we should control which species thrives and which decline. Rather, we should use all of our scientific knowledge and technology to assure that our species has little to no impact on the rest of the planet; after that its simply left to natural selection to decide who ultimately goes extinct. The problem is that our species has taken the opposite approach to the problem of conservation. That approach being that we try to conserve and "repopulate" species that we have either directly or indirectly decimated over time. In the future I hope that we, as a species, will take a more proactive approach and recognize that every living thing on this planet is dependant upon each other. A lesson in this regard can be learned from the text of Ismael. For no other species on the planet forces another into extinction except for us. Nature has a balance that we need to respect and be part of . . . or else we could end up the next ones on extinctions chopping block.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Ecological Footprint

After taking the quiz via the website my ecological footprint was determined to be 3.6 Earths. I believe the main reasons for it being so high are due to the fact that I live in a household with four other roommates and that our combined resource usage (electricity, gas, waste, etc) is higher then an average household (such as a household with only two occupants).

The disturbing thing is that everyone in my household already does quite a bit to reduce our footprint. Examples of strategies our household uses include: an organic garden on our side yard (where ornamental grass used to grow), a compost box that both recycles household food waste and provides fertilizer for our garden, recycling of everything that can be recycled, energy efficient appliances, and a bio-diesel producer that we use to turn our used cooking oil into fuel for one of our diesel vehicles. Examples of our garden and bio-diesel producer can be seen by visiting (Note: You will have to type the address in a new window as the link isn't functioning-both the garden and bio-diesel producer were projects specifically designed for our household by Green Sol, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit I started with a friend of mine two years ago).
The changes we hope to make in the future include retro-fitting solar panels and wind turbines (as time and funding for Green Sol permits) to provide all of the energy our household needs.
It should be evident by my non-profit and sustainable practices thus far that this matter is of great concern to me :)
The long term effects of all of us living with such large ecological footprints should be obvious. If not, let me just say that all of us, right now, are contributing to an unsustainable way of life; a way of life that will eventually lead to our species demise and the demise of the majority of other species on our planet.
Of course its not fair that our country (which has one of the smallest populations on Earth) consumes the majority of resources. However, I believe this fact will not change as long as we are slaves to our monetary system. That topic I will leave for another time (my blog group would be just such a time) and end by saying that people in other countries are already being effected by what the industrialized world has been doing for decades. The bottom line is that those people wont have to worry about scrounging for resources because if we as a society continue on the path we are on people will simply cease to exist. Maybe that's not such a bad thing though . . . but its unfortunate how many other species we will take with us.