Saturday, April 07, 2007

Time Magazine Chimes in on Global Warming


I stopped by the good ol' Jiffy Lube to change the oil of my terrible fossil fuel burning means of transportation and noticed the April 9th edition of Time Magazine, The Global Warming Survival Guide, in the waiting room. Of course I picked it up and started reading. The article was quite long, and reminded me of the Inc. Magazine article quite a few months ago, Do Good, Get Rich in its layout and contents, especially the short section sponsored by GE on innovators tackling Global Warming (oddly, I could not seem to find a link to this Special Section. Oh yeah, it's an ad, and I am sure GE has an interest in all or most of the people featured in it. Hey, that's what advertising is for.)

In any case, it's worth the read, and, if you are especially concerned about lowering your consumption of "stuff", read what you can online, eschewing the purchase of that nasty creation of acids and tree fiber we call a magazine.

51 Things We Can Do. This section highlights "simple" activities we, the general consumers, can do to help reduce our impact on the environment. Buying carbon offsets are mentioned at number 42 (I have no idea if these are in any order) as Pay for your carbon sins. As with other mentions of offsets in this blog, there is a fair hinting of the inexact nature of buying offsets and the work by Ecosystem Marketplace, the Center for Resource Solutions, and the Climate Group to establish verifiable and "trusted" carbon offsets. Though not mentioned in the article, I am certain that NativeEnergy is working on this as well. I liked the simple ones like turning off the lights and office equipment and changing light bulbs. I am in the market for a home, so maybe this is the right way to go?

On The Front Lines of Climate Change covers areas like Bangladesh, London, Tokyo, New Orleans, and The Netherlands and their ongoing battle to preserve their way of life. The Netherlands have been battling the North Sea for more than 800 years. You think they'll stop now? Venice and Stockholm are not mentioned, nor are numerous other coastal and low-lying areas. I have to ask an obvious question; how many billions, if not trillions of dollars have been invested to preserve these cities? OK, knowing what we know now, that having millions of people living at or below sea level is a bad idea, how many billions or trillions of dollars would it take to recreate these places in areas where they do not face the long-term destruction potential associated with climate change? Simple question, complicated answer(s).

What Now For Our Feverish Planet? This one takes on the usual topics of how we should deal with climate change. Reducing emissions associated with the use of fossil fuel, increasing the use of alternatives, investing in projects that offset carbon emissions. I'll not bore you with all the sound bites and jeweled comments that you will probably end up reading yourself. The one small quote that stood out that related to the carbon emissions challenge I issued to the Green Drinks folks for March is,
Buying carbon offsets can reduce the impact of your cross-continental travel,
provided you can ensure where your money's really going.
Again, what we really need is reductions at the source and focusing on smaller scale, local commerce. I think Bill McKibben is onto something.

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