Bidding 5768 goodbye
And we just learned that despite all our efforts at stabilizing our atmospheric greenhouse gases, they rose 3% this past year, almost all increases coming from the developing world. China - now the largest contributor to greenhouse gases - is responsible for 60% of this 3% increase. The good news is that we in the "developed world" are holding our emissions steady - and soon might be able to see them decline. Just this past week Maryland and nine other eastern states held their first Regional Greenhouse Gas carbon auction, which will both limits CO2 emissions and create funds for alternative energy research.
So while things are looking rough we cannot throw up our hands. Just as China is beginning to crack down on manufacturing abuses that are killing their children, sooner or later China will begin to crack down on the pollution that is killing the world's environment. And when they do, we should be ready with technologies that can help them. Then, we will be the grand exporters and China the importers. We will turn the economic tables. Green industry, research and technology can re-establish America at the head of the technological revolution and enable us to become the green industry leaders. But we must invest well, fully and wisely.
This is not the time to be timid.
We created the money to prosecute a fabricated war; and to bail out a banking industry that could have avoided this whole fiasco if it just did not seek usurious rates from greed-driven mortgages.
We might not think we have any money left over for grand, Manhattan Project like efforts to green our industries, but surely if we do not invest in efficiency technologies, in new renewable forms of energy, we will within ten years be spending billions of dollars we also do not have to take care of people displaced by - and repair their homes damaged in - increasingly angry storms, spend more money on a gallon of clean water than a gallon of gasoline when local water systems are polluted and unhealthy, heat and cool our homes with over-priced energy that continues to degrade the environment.
The environmental picture is not looking much better despite all our efforts. But we cannot stop - rather must work harder. How do we do that and not give in to despair? What keeps us going?
No doubt we each have our own answer. In no small measure it is the company we keep, the comforting and encouraging presence of those who care just as much as we. And just like the star thrower - who threw back all the starfish he could, even thought there were many more he could not - we do what we can, hoping that cumulatively someday it will all add up to something big. No doubt someday it will.
And some of us keep going for the pure joy we get from less, from a life of increased simplicity. From buying less, and wasting less, and disturbing the world less. Surprisingly, the less gives me so much more - a greater appreciation of all, an awareness of worlds in littler things and individual acts. Being green isn't just good; it is fundamentally, life-alteringly, fulfilling.
My very best wishes to you all for a healthy, sweet, green new year, filled with its full share of blessings that will heal this fractured world of ours.