By RM Allen, www.nhgoddess.com
Bill McKibbon stood head and shoulders above me. Literally. He is a tall man, and I am a short woman. I stood on my tiptoes for this photo! But Bill also stands head and shoulders above most people in terms of climate change knowledge. In terms of climate change knowledge and dissemination, he is a global giant. He has written many books on the subject, and has mobilized many to heed his call to action via his website www.350.org
In May 2011, I went to the first annual New England regional UCC “Green” Conference in CT, in which Bill was the keynote speaker. Here is Bill’s message, in a nutshell:
There is 390ppm Carbon in the atmosphere now, rising 2ppm annually. The recommended level is 350.
Carbon is saturating the air from our poor industrial habits (food, transportation, waste, etc), combined with deforestation (trees absorb Carbon)
The extra Carbon in the air makes it moister; this destabilizes the 350ppm climate as we have known it for the past 10K years, and results in frequent extreme weather incidents (droughts. floods, winds, hail, etc)
The Carbon air also makes the planet hotter; we are now 1 degree hotter than the past 10K years. This measly 1 degree makes polar caps melt, which makes it way to you in increased sea levels. Meaning that houses and even entire island countries will be underwater in 10 years or less (see Maldives)
Because of the big problems with violent weather and rising waters, we are seeing the beginning of interruptions in services like power, food, and goods & services. Nothing like a drought/flood/hurricane/ tornado/tsunami to wipe out your crop or throw your nuke plant offline or crush your house and highway.
Hmmm, this all sound dire, and it is. But as you sit there reading this, you personally are thinking you are still OK and everything seems fine to you -well unless you live near devastations like Fukushima, or Katrina’s New Orleans, or in a recent Southern tornado zone. But it is coming closer to you. Yes, like a crazy zombie from a bad horror film it will just keep coming no matter what you shoot at it. Big Oil and their paid puppet, the US (not your local) Chamber of Commerce, will keep the carbon-climate-zombie coming so they can make record profits.
I think about myself. I haven’t been affected, have I? Well, the hundred year flood did come twice to Exeter in the past few years. I had to dig a swale to divert the river that suddenly appeared in my backyard. My car did suffer $7K damage during a freak hailstorm in Exeter, NH a few years ago. I saw the hail. They were the size of softballs. They sounded like a freight train, and then I also heard glass breaking everywhere in the house. It sent me running into a closet in the basement, where a nervously farting Boston Terrier joined me.
That was a small local disaster in NH, but what about global disasters? Have they affected me? Now that I come to think of it, yes. The earthquake/tsunami in Japan has reached me in the form of delays, as various messages on my computer tell me. How odd. I didn’t even know I had a Japanese connection. I am more global than I thought.
What else do I not realize about where I get everyday items? Can you say Big Agra? What would happen if there were a carbon-climate-zombie induced drought in the middle of this country? Interruptions in my food supply. There would still be food, but the price would skyrocket. What would happen if the carbon-climate-zombie ate up the big electricity grid which powers my condo? Again, there would still be power eventually, but the price would skyrocket. What about Peak Oil? (Peak Oil is the notion that the glory days of finding/using oil are over and we are on the decline of supply- but the producers will not tell you, they will only jack up the price. What will your life look like at $7, or $10 a gallon?) Combine oil interruptions with Peak Oil, and you have gone Mad Max. And this math only works with a planet that is 1 measly degree hotter. Double all of it when we reach 2 degrees: at 3 degrees it is Planet of the Apes vs. Mad Max!
So, what to do in the face of this carbon-climate-zombie that won’t stop coming until he has eaten you up? The answer is simple. Very simple. And healthy for you on many levels: physically, emotionally, spiritually, and economically. And actually kinda fun!
The answer is to go local. Be green, which is the same thing as going local. Support local food, local power, local communities, and local businesses. Work and shop where you live. Save gas. Slow way down on your beef & pork consumption: buy from local farmers. Meet your neighbors and make friends. In this way both you and your community become resilient when the carbon-climate-zombie comes banging on your door. And being green & local, and transitioning to a more self-supporting economy will actually keep us from heating up the planet further. That’s a win-win that sounds good to a green goddess like me!
I don’t’ really know what to do more than I am doing right now, but I am going to look on this website that Bill and his Massachusetts Transition trainer friend Tina Clarke suggested www.TransitionUS.org I suggest you look too, or even buy the book “The Transition Handbook” which shows you how to go from oil dependency to local resilience. A book that shows us how to use our own creativity to swim through a big bowl of ugly and get to the boom shaka-lucky side!
Hello sister goddeses! If you enjoyed this blog please sign up for my monthly (small & simple) Green Goddess Orgasmagical eNewsletter by sending me a note to say hi firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks! ~RM Allen, author (www.nhgoddess.com)