It’s raining today!
Rain moved into the area yesterday bringing much lower temperatures (as I write this it’s about 60ºF or around 16ºC). The rain is very welcome. But it is far from enough. It will have to rain a lot more for the springs to recharge and with summer moving in, I really doubt that will happen. Worse, even though it is raining, not much is soaking in. Deforestation leaves the ground bare, dry, a vast expanse of baked earth. Rain often just runs off rather than soaking in. Even when it soaks in, with nothing to hold it, no trees or roots in the soil, the water just runs, carrying with it all the moistened topsoil. What’s left behind is hard, nutrient poor dirt.
People here talk about the need to reforest. And they are exactly right. Reforestation is key! But it is not enough to demand reforestation. Deforestation occurs to satisfy demand for resource intensive products such as beef and cheap coffee (and palm oil in Indonesia, for example). The consumer MUST change his pattern of consumption. As long as there is demand there will be destruction in order to supply that demand.
People too often want solutions to environmental problems, solutions which do not impact or interfere with their pattern of consumption. Those solutions do not exist. Consumption of resource intensive products is simply unsustainable. Production is simply unsustainable. A lifestyle based on consumption of resource intensive products is simply unsustainable. It is destructive. It is driving the extinction of wildlife and will cause our own extinction.
It is not enough to donate money. It is not enough to demand reforestation. It is not enough to expect others to change their behavior. It is not enough to talk.
It isn’t enough to stop washing your car every Sunday. It isn’t enough to install eco-friendly toilets in your house. It isn’t enough to use eco-friendly shopping bags or recycle your plastic bags if what you are bringing home in those bags to consume in your now eco-friendly home is driving mass extinction, deforestation, drought, climate change, social inequality due to environmental factors, social destruction due to environmental factors.
It isn’t enough.
You MUST change your pattern of consumption. Like the saying goes, you have to be the change you want to see in this world. It starts with you. If you are unwilling, why would anyone else?
What are some things you can do?
• Stop eating beef! Stop now. Beef production is one of the greatest causes of global climate change, deforestation, global hunger, and social inequality. It may have been sustainable in 1500. It is not sustainable today. And make no mistake, there is no such thing as responsible production or environmentally friendly production or any other kind of “acceptable” production of beef. It is unnecessary in your diet. And no matter how much you may like it, its production causes irreparable harm to the world. Just stop!
• Buy local as much as possible. Support innovative production. Farmers are pragmatic. Farmers are innovative. They will explore new crops, new methods of production. Farmers want to support you. So support them. Buy local!
• Plant trees/plant a garden. Encourage municipal garden plots. Take hikes in parks. Take photos with your cellphone of butterflies and beetles and post them online. Send them to me! I’ll post them here! Go apple picking. Do anything which puts you into contact with the larger non-human environment.
There are many other things you can do. A little research online will show you a ton of actions you can take.
Here are a few pictures taken around my house to get you in the mood.