To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day… (Macbeth, William Shakespeare).
There is so much energy and power in what we put off until or do or plan for tomorrow. What do I make of it?
The funny thing is that this Word Press Post-a-Day prompt has sat in my draft box for weeks. It seems what I can put off for tomorrow, I can just as easily put off for many tomorrows.
For all of the things that I can convince myself to put off, and I do often and easily talk myself in to procrastination, I equally find many tasks for which I know require my immediate attention, and they get it.
I did some marking today. I felt I owed some more feedback to my students and I gave them some of my precious weekend time. I also put a great deal of what I brought home back in to my briefcase and set a timetable for the week to get through it. I put a plan in place for tomorrow, tomorrow (and the tomorrow after that.) And, in small chunks, it will get done and its far better than bemoaning not getting to do the things I wanted and enjoyed doing today: having a leisurely breakfast at our friends house (and enjoying every decadent bite, every sip of strong coffee and lots of great conversation); stepping out to tour a house with Ben; making some time to do my own writing; reading the book on my nightside table and just relaxing and enjoying a leisurely Sunday after a busy Saturday.
Last night we watched the documentary, How to Boil a Frog. It’s an irreverent documentary that expores a variety of messes we are in. It looks at our environment, our energy use and abuse, and the economic factors that affect how we manage and mismanage where and how we live. The title comes from the fact that if you place a frog in boiling water he will scramble to get out and save his life; if you put a frog in cold water and gradually increase the temperature, he will meet his demise. In case the subtly is lost on you: we are the metaphorical frog and the temperature is rising. Jon Cooksey outlines five problems and five solutions in his film. And, the thing is, we no longer have the luxury to put off thinking and acting on these things for tomorrow.
The first problem is overpopulation. We have close to 7 billion people on a planet that truly can only reasonably sustain a population of about 2 billion. The second problem he outlines is our war on nature. Our reliance on plastics has killed fish and oceans; we have razed 20 billion acres of forests; a billion people in the world do not have clean water to drink; and 50% of the world’s animals will be extinct before the end of the century. The third problem is the gap between the rich and the poor. The Western world has a standard of living that pollutes heavily, and thanks to television– many more people around the world aspire to this way of life. As the developing nations close the gap between the rich and the poor this is going to create a huge strain on the planet. The fourth problem is peak oil. Oil is a finite resource and if we continue at our present rates of consumption the end of oil will happen much sooner than later. And last, global warming. The earth can absorb 11 billion tons of C02 a year, right now we are putting up to 32 billion tons into the atmosphere, and that number is rising fast.
So what are the solutions? Cooksey offers up five things we can do and we can no longer put them off until tomorrow, lest we not have a planet for all the tomorrows we were hoping for.
HIs first suggestion is to drive past Exxon (Esso in Canada). Exxon is responsible for 3% of the world’s global warming problem and have spent millions of dollars trying to convince people that global warming is not real. We know that our consumer choices always force big business to make changes when we demand (in large numbers) with our buying dollars. Easily done. I did not buy any gas today, and I can’t remember the last time I bought at Esso anyway.
His second solution is called Life Bulb Changes. We need to make life changes- especially in the ways that we consume. We can greatly reduce our emissions firstly by reducing the amount of red meat we eat. Cows produce more methane than vehicles do. We can eat pork, lamb, fish… just reconsider the cow. We need to stop over-populating (consider adoption for many of the children who do not have families; close to 640 million). And, we really need to spend less, reduce more and recycle. The real costs of a new product are not factored in to the price of the goods we buy; buy used. Again, Ben and I have been reducing our red meat intake for a variety of reasons, and are easily adding other meat to our diet by virtue of the great variety offered at our local Farmer’s Market. One of the best things we can do for our environment and our economy is to buy local. The more food we source locally, the less it has to travel which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and your carbon footprint. Food purchased and produced in New Brunswick also helps to stimulate our local economy and contribute to better food security.
His third solution is called Change of Heart. Change is from the inside out, and nothing on our planet is going to change until we first accept that these realities do exist. Done. I accept it. I see it. And I want it to change.
Solution four is called Giant Killing. Here he prompts viewers to blog, post, discuss, form a group and shoot a YouTube video, whatever it takes to continue to get the message out and demand changes in the way we live and the way we treat the planet we share. So I wrote this blog today, I hope it reached someone.
And finally, Transition. We’ve got to realize that we can’t continue to live this way, we need to get back on nature’s curve. Why not watch for yourself, and you’ll get the message too.