"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world."---John Muir
All week I have been thinking about the terrible devastation of the living ocean and environment of the Gulf Coast as deadly oil spills---STILL!!!---into the sea. My heart mourns for the destruction we have caused...and I am vowing to change my life. I want to live a car-less life again. Vehicles consume half of the world's oil, and spew a quarter of the world's greenhouse-gas emissions. Leaving my car at home even one day a week can save a lot of gas and emissions over a year. (hint: you might try this...)
So, after spending the summer in Alaska--working in a small community where there are no roads or cars (instead we have outboard motors and skiffs, which are used considerably less than a family automobile )---I plan to live somewhere I can divest myself of my car--and become someone who doesn't own a car!!!
I will probably join zipcar or some other shared car organization...but I learned through my experience here in the Bay Area with City Car Share that I used a car much less when I didn't actually own one. There is something very liberating about not owning car--one less "thing" in my life to maintain, and I definatly got more exercise as I walked and biked more to get where I needed to be. And when you have to reserve the car ahead of time--you really think about using the car, instead of just taking car use for granted. This causes your relationship to car use to shift quite a bit---at least mine did.
I know this might seem rather futile---faced as we are with climate change and gallons and gallons of oil now spilling into the ocean...but lately I have begun to think that if we are going to save our planet--it will have to be us people who do the saving. If we wait for our leaders---it is going to be too little, too late. So we must each--individually--take whatever actions we can: reduce our oil consumption, protect our environment by buying only organic, reduce our consumption of all natural resources and live sustainably, share our wealth and knowledge with people less fortunate, convert to alternative energy sources, use a cloth bag for shopping, grow a garden....this list can go on and on.
Most of this we can do on an individual level, and I now believe that is how real change will come about...one individual at a time, one step at a time...all moving toward the same goal...a healthy, viable, livable planet where everyone has enough to eat, adequate shelter, enough clean water, education, a job with a living wage and healthcare....we can do this (despite our governments) if we work together for the common good.
And, pray, let us begin with our oceans....
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