Climate, Cows, and Cars

Climate, Cows, & Cars

Some Good News

There is good news in all of this gloom and doom. The key here is to understand that knowledge is power. It’s not that we see different things then those who are unaware of these issues.... But once we understand the reality of these issues on a deep level, we simply see the same things differently.

It’s not that we see different things, it’s that we begin to see the same things.... differently.”
Dr. Melanie Joy

Photo by Jonathan Maus of BikePortland

We begin to understand that the decisions to choose ‘the easy way’ or follow mainstream society run counter to our true feelings of compassion, respect, and connection with our living world. The idea of treating the natural world as a ‘resource to be exploited’ no longer feels conscientious. This isn’t a feeling that most people understand on the surface, but it exists within each of us on a deeper level, and it reduces our sense of self-respect.

The power of the human mind is now demonstrating to us that we can use our great talents for the benefit of all, rather then just for the sake of making a buck. But instead of sharing news about hybrid cars, nuclear power, or other forms of greenwashing....I’m going to share with you the REAL solutions which have the greatest potential to help us live in harmony.
(psst, and they’re either cheap or free).

I’ve been amazed at the level of genius which has been showing up on the internet in recent times. People young and old, from all over the world, are coming up with awesome solutions to our current shared global crisis.

  • William Kamkwamba was a 15 year old boy from Malawi who became famous for building a wind turbine from scrap parts to provide electricity to his village.
  • In 1979 Jadav Payeng started growing bamboo on a parched island near Bangalore. He devoted 30 years to the project and has now built a dense forest covering over 550 hectares (1300 acres).
    Of course most of us aren’t going to spend that much time, but groups like Friends of Trees can help you find ways to plant trees around the neighbourhood.
  • Food Not Bombs is an international group of people who take food that would otherwise be • discarded, and turn it into meals that they serve to the public for free.
  • Lauren Singer decided in 2011 to cut out the wasteful production of trash from her life. Since then she’s not contributed a single piece of trash. Read more about her story here.
  • A lot of smart people have figured out how to build their own solar panel for super cheap. Here is an instructables on how.
  • Want to heat your house for free? No I’m not selling anything. But there is a thing, called passive solar heat. It’s actually super easy to make a solar heater out of soda cans. You can look up ‘pop can solar heater’ on youtube, but here’s the quickest way that I’ve found.
  • Composting is a great way to turn food waste into healthy soil. If you don’t have a yard or a lot of space, a worm bin is an easy way to do compost right under the kitchen sink. This woman shows you how.
  • Notice, these ideas don’t involve spending a week’s paycheck at the store.

    Beyond taking steps like this in our own life, we can share the understanding and be a positive influence for change with other people. Popular films like ‘Forks over Knives’ and ‘Cowspiracy’ (which is on Netflix) are wonderful tools to help us raise awareness for animal-free diets. Influential public figures like sports heroes, politicians, actors and actresses are embracing veganism and using their positions to be positive role- models. As the picture here shows, each one of us that makes a change causes friends, coworkers, and family to re-think their own choices and consider the benefits of compassionate lives.

    When I was younger, most people viewed cycling as just a ‘weekend warrior’ fringe. Advertisements reinforce this by promoting ‘Lance Armstrong’ stereotypes. But now brilliant people all over the world are showing how to move human-powered transportation into the realm of everyday trips. Not only just for lightweight errands, but even larger grocery trips and urban adventures.

  • Clarence Eckerson Jr. & Streetfilms have created a huge library of videos showing the value of great cycling spaces
  • Ciclovias or Sunday Parkways, inspired by former mayor Enrique Penalosa, have helped people experience how wonderfully peaceful and quiet carfree spaces can be. Partly due to this, Paris recently pushed the whole city center to go carfree for one day.
  • Hundreds of brilliant people are making bikes that don’t just carry people, but groceries, pets, furniture, or even a bicycle powered mobile building.
  • Air Pollution