In this week’s special series of stories, environmental expert Dr. Allan Schnaiberg deftly dissected the twin problems of “warming” and “cooling” – the heating up of the environment and the cooling down of the economy.
(If you’re just joining our series, here are all links to all of the parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.)
Global warming and our economic crisis are really the same problem, Allan told us this week, both resulting from the collective choices we have made. The “we” includes ourselves, policymakers, elected officials and business executives.
Here’s a key line from Allan’s stories: “In short: We consumed too much too fast and we couldn’t stop.”
Choices always involve values – the guiding principles we use to decide what to do and what not to do.
So, I see Dr. Schnaiberg’s “exploration experiment” as an invitation to explore our values as much as it is to explore our local environment.
I tried the exploration experiment this week, as I reported in Part 3 this week, choosing to walk my son to school on a cold day rather than drive. I attempted to repeat it yesterday but it didn’t work – we ran out of time due to that blur of early morning minutiae that any parent knows only too well. I’ll try it again.
Readers of OurValues.org provided more examples of value choices.
David Pellow described how a choice to move from southern California to the Upper Midwest resulted in more than a change in weather: “Many people in SoCal seem to feel socially distant and isolated (despite it being commonly perceived as ‘paradise’, given the weather, the palm trees and beaches), but here in the Upper Midwest, I’ve found a much stronger and cohesive community (despite or because of the colder weather). I’ll take warm people and cold weather over cold people and warm weather any day of the week!”
Greg Peterson reported local efforts in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, such as annual hazardous waste collections organized by the congregations of 150 churches and temples. Teens from Marquette and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community are battling colony collapse disorder (the sudden disappearance of Western honey bee colonies). Through the Zaagkii Wings and Seeds Project, they are “protecting pollinators in a new three-year effort that includes planting native species of plants and building butterfly houses.” (The photos today are from the Zaagkii project.)
These are helpful and hopeful comments. I’d like to hear from more of our readers, if you can take even a moment to add a comment.
What values are shaping your choices right now?
How is news of global warming affecting you as a person?
How is the cooling of our economy affecting you?
What do you think of Allan’s idea of taking a fresh look at your community?
Tell us what you think about any of these questions.
Please, add a Comment, even if it’s brief. Or, if you prefer, drop us a quick Email.