I sometimes wonder why we refer to environmental stewardship as conservation. Why not preservation, or even restoration? Well, here is what I've concluded.
To preserve is to maintain something in its original or existing state. In our case, when we are talking about the earth, we will never get it back to original because we don't even know what the original Earth looked like. Although maintaining the existing state would be better than the result if we increased emissions, we can't go on living in the current condition. First off, there is no way for humanity to continue living while leaving the planet's condition untouched. We are constantly doing it harm, and every day it's getting worse. Therefore, the possibility of maintaining it in its existing state at this moment in time in impossible. So the real question is how do we prevent even worse destruction and adopt a global lifestyle that drastically slows down our damage.
This leads us to conservation. To conserve is to protect from harm or destruction. The Earth must be treated like our baby. She's not doing so well at the moment, and we have to shield her from the harmful greenhouse gases before she suffocates. To do this, we need to look towards sustained growth. In other words, a solution that will be sturdy and able to support mankind for hundreds of years to come without compromising either the environment's health or the worldwide standard of living. Our current system compromises both. It will not support the growing population. Something must give, either the planet or the population, as there will be an estimated 4 billion people living in hunger by 2050.
This is a rare opportunity in history to expand economically and help eradicate poverty using a model that will protect, rather than exploit our home planet. We must seize this opportunity and conserve the species and population. We must defend the Earth's biodiversity and its water resources. We must fight to end climate change which threatens us with rising sea levels. And we must act now. We cannot restore the planet because many of the effects of human intervention are irreversible. However we can work to protect from harm or destruction. Instead of maintaining in the current condition, let's work to get the carbon dioxide count in the atmosphere down, which is very possible if we lower our emissions and reforest our land. I'm sorry to inform you that if we keep clearing forests and refuse to use more energy efficient practices or employ renewable energies, we are doomed.
As part of the effort to expand the ReFill blog to a general discussion about all things sustainable, I want to open the discussion to green building. Why don't people just accept it already is what I want to know. The argument that it costs too much is clearly obsolete because within 5 years, the structure will have already paid for itself in terms of energy costs. So what is it? Ignorance perhaps. Or apathy. We have to step up our efforts in sustainable development. Humanity will never be able to accept anything besides growth, so the golden question is how to we grow economically while protecting the environment. I want to hear your opinions. A major problem in all spheres of life is that the public's opinion is rarely valued. Meanwhile, some of the best solutions are hidden away in ordinary people's brains. So please, comment. Give us some suggestions as to how to establish a clean, green revolution. Designs, projects, ideas, anything! It has been said that there is one solution for the financial crisis and global climate change. The two are interconnected. Humanity's progress and success is directly linked to that of the environment's. The solution is not clear and it may take years to discover, if such a solution exists at all. But let's start searching now.
Nothing frustrates me more than hearing someone say that the global temperature rise is part of a cycle. Wait, scrap that. Nothing frustrates me more than someone who says that climate change does not exist because the temperature change is cyclical. The people who so proudly declare that invalidity should learn this simple fact: climate change does not mean temperature change. Let me break it down simply. While increased CO2 concentration undoubtedly leads to a spike in temperature, the very presence of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can disrupt ecosystems. The rise in temperature is just a further disturbance for hundreds of millions of organisms who rely on a very stable concentration of CO2 in the water and air. Ocean acidification is the absorption of carbon dioxide by the world's oceans. Carbon dioxide reacts with water to form carbonic acid, which by definition, lowers pH. There is nothing cyclical about the drop in pH in the oceans since the Industrial Revolution. This pH decline can dramatically alter marine ecosystems. In increasingly acidified environments, calcifying organisms, or those that produce shells and plates out of calcium carbonate, can disintegrate. These include corals and mollusks, both of which are important parts of the food chain. As ocean pH dips, structures made of calcium carbonate are vulnerable to dissolution. So there is one major problem. However, if you are still doubting the drastic effects of climate change, then just think about pollution. The numbers of marine and land organisms that are harmed by pollution is startling. The most obvious response is to nip the problem from the bud and use less of the leading component of pollution, yes you guessed it: PLASTIC.
Sup earth-savers. It was just brought to my attention that bottled water costs more per ounce than oil. What's even crazier is that water is free. Stuff that falls from the sky shouldn't ever be purchased. Imagine if someone tried to convince you to buy canned air. You would say, "Whoah, that's whack." Well bottled water should sound just as insane. I mean, why would we ever pay for something we get for free? So even if you don't care about the environment there is a major economic motive to stop buying plastic bottles. And don't you dare use the "they're convenient" excuse on me. Climate change is a problem that can be solved. By joining the movement you will make a huge difference. By spreading it to your friends and family, you will make an enormous difference. The evidence is in the parts per million carbon dioxide concentration, which will hop on the decline if everyone used less plastic.
Here's the bottle design. I need feedback so I can place orders. This is the 20 ounce bottle. Too big? Would you prefer silver to white? Should the orientation of the logo be changed? Should the logo only be the Earth drop without the text? Please respond soon!
Welcome to the ReFill Project blog. Feel free to post ideas, stories, or pictures relating to the fight against climate change. Our goal here is to eliminate plastic bottle usage, which in turn would severely decrease our oil usage.
The first bottle filling station has been installed at The Wheatley School. This provides cold, clean, filtered water and is available in unlimited supply to all students. Several other stations are slated for installation making it more convenient to refill several times a day. Students can remain hydrated and refreshed while saving money on multiple bottle purchases and saving the environment by decreasing their usage of disposable plastic water bottles. Poland Spring might not be happy but I am! Thanks to Fink and Dr. Feeney for helping to kickstart the ReFill project. I hope it's only the beginning of an effort to change the culture here on Bacon Road.