Can anyone tell me if there is still a sun? I haven’t seen it in a couple weeks and I am worried it may have gotten lost somewhere. The skies have been covered with clouds and we’ve had rain. Rain! In December! This is Minnesota, that rain is supposed to be snow. I think the kale in the garden has actually begun growing again. Some of my neighbors’ yards have green grass. The public radio meteorologist says December temperatures are running 10 degrees above normal.
I heard an interview with Ted Cruz on the same radio station the other day. Cruz is a Republican senator from Texas and one of many presidential candidates. He is currently the chair of the Senate subcommittee on Science and Space. In the interview he said, and I am paraphrasing, that climate change is not a threat, that it is something made up by the liberals who want to increase the size of government, increase taxes and create laws that control how we live our lives. I could say so much about how Cruz and his cronies are passing laws that tell women what we are and are not allowed to do with our bodies, but I will just let that go for now.
So it is a good thing that Cruz and other republicans can do absolutely nothing about the Climate Change agreement agreed upon in France. It is far from a perfect agreement and nothing in it will keep global temperatures below 2C, the magic number scientists have singled out as being the point of no return, so to speak. But it is better than nothing. And because it is not a treaty, the U.S. government does not have to vote on it. Unfortunately, they can still make it difficult for the US to achieve a good many of the things we promised to do by not funding budget items.
With the presidential election in November 2016 and a number of seats in the House and Senate up for election, things are going to be interesting as the balance of power is sure to do some shifting. You can probably guess without too much trouble where I hope it shifts to.
Meanwhile I will try to stay positive and do things to keep my stress level and blood pressure low. Like ride my bike trainer. I did 85 miles/ 137 km yesterday! I was tired enough afterwards that I couldn’t have been stressed even if I had tried. Then there is my impending two-week vacation that begins this coming Friday at 4:00 p.m. Bring it on!
Even though the 70,000 people who live on the Marshall Islands are currently planning to move to higher ground in the Fiji Islands because the sea level is rising, I will remember that anything I can do personally to limit my carbon footprint is a positive thing.
Sometimes it feels like being vegan, taking public transit, consuming less, growing some of my own food is pointless because so small in the scheme of things. But it isn’t. Yes, the government needs to make some big changes, but we as individuals don’t need to wait for the government in order to start making changes ourselves. If everyone had two days a week without meat, or didn’t drive their own car a couple days a week, or stopped buying out of season fruits and vegetables, or washed their clothes in cold water, these small things would add up fast. It’s like this really great article says, a single action is like plucking one hair from someone’s head but if you get 1,000 people to each pluck a hair, that someone is going to end up bald.
The Paris climate agreement is a huge step in the right direction, but don’t wait for governments to begin implementing policies. We can start right now in our daily lives. It isn’t hard, it doesn’t take much, and it really does make a difference.