I, Eco-Hypocrite

I might look back on today as the day I became a Democrat.  Or a member of the Green Party.  It’s too close to call just yet.  It is already the Day I Became Less Stupid. 

I do not mean to imply that Republicans are stupid.  Far from it.  But they collectively have a strong track record for being stupid about the environment, just like me.

I have paid lip service to protecting Earth.  I’m the first one to stick up for the environment in conversation with my arch-conservative friends.  I love walking in the sun, under the leaves, feeling the life in trees.  I recycle.  My garden is lush.  But why do I have a garden?

Because I moved out to the country, traded my Starbucks for a Waffle House, and became co-owner of a house.  “A wise investment,” Dad said. 

But my professional life remains in the city and, now that I’m commuting 40 minutes each way three to four days a week, I wonder if it’s worth it.  Translation: I burn 60 gallons of unleaded every month.  I don’t carpool.  I don’t drive a hybrid.  I didn’t think that I could afford to.

Now I don’t know if I can afford not to.  I just finished watching An Inconvenient Truth.  Global warming is happening, and it is my fault.  What am I going to do about it?

I’m going to pray: for myself, for you reading this, especially if you’ve been like me, and for Al Gore, that people would listen.  This is bigger that politics.  This is about moral responsibility and justice for future generations.

I’m going to start car shopping, which will involve some creative financial manuoevering.  The big purchase might be years out, but I can hasten the day.

I’m going to educate myself about the candidates in the next election.  I’m going to pray for the candidates.

And I’m going to ask God for forgiveness.  This is our planet, but He gave it to us to take care of.  We can squander it, like I’ve been doing, or we can be good stewards.  What could be a better investment than that?


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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I stumbled upon your blog through St. Louis blogs, and this entry caught my eye. I must say I’m surprised that you have a blog, yet you have not embraced Facebook. 🙂

    Regarding your “change” of political views, first of all let me say, welcome to the club. Us Democrats could always use more Christians on our side. I understand your guilt as far as driving a car that is not hybrid is concerned, after all, we are stewards of the Earth. I am a tree-hugging hippie myself (seriously, ask some of the kids from youth group that came to Oklahoma with me…I made them hug trees and apologize for littering). As such, I have a solution to your guilt, and that is a Terrapass. To give you the Cliffs’ Notes, you give money to support projects that offset your car’s carbon dioxide emissions for a year. You can find more information at http://www.terrapass.com.

    I have a Terrapass for my car, and have started buying them every time I fly (which I do about 5-6 times a year). The money does add up, but, as you said, it is our responsibility to preserve the Earth for our children and all other generations to follow. I’m a firm believer that if everyone in the world just changed one thing about their lifestyles, whether it be buying a Terrapass or switching to CFL light bulbs, it would make a huge impact on the global warming situation.

    Another movie that might be interesting for you to watch is “Who Killed the Electric Car?” If you weren’t yet disillusioned by the automotive industry and the government, you will be after watching this documentary.

    I hope you are having a great trip in North Carolina, and that you make it back to the Lou safely. Enjoy God’s beautiful creation and this opportunity to spend time with your friends. Let’s hang out when you get back…and when you’re in my neck of the woods again.


  2. I might not be ready to articulate and make sense of my political confusion/conversion until just in time for the next election. Which would be nice.

    Terrapass looks awesome! I’ll definitely investigate.

    I will add “Electric Car” to my queu. Cue? Quew? How do you spell it??? (And why don’t wordpres spll cheek work?)

  3. Queue?

    And I’m not convinced that either major party would enact any drastic change in environmental policy. They have to continue nurturing relationships with their corporate sponsors even once they are in office. I hate to be a pessimist, but I am one, and so I fear that no matter what drastic action is taken by the U.S. government, it will not be drastic enough. We are not the only industrialized nation in the world, and I do not forsee any international embargoes on CO2 producers. Perhaps it is too late to halt the environmental catastrophy. Perhaps we should consider allocating a significant portion of our national budget for founding colonies on other worlds.

  4. It is in the long-term best interests of the U.S. auto industry and national defense for us to pursue alternative engergy sources.

    We are not the only industrialized nation, but we produce the most CO2 and we’re doing the least about it.

    Is “perhaps it is too late” a sufficient excuse for inaction? We are individually responsible for our actions, even if our government keeps dropping the ball.

    We are decades away from even discerning whether establishing a self-sustaning off-world colony would be feasible. Is creating an atmosphere from scratch (terraforming) even a possibility? Which is easier, to clean your house, or to build one from the ground up with technology that might not even be possible?

    Do you remember that hole in the ozone? We realized it was a problem, took action, and now it’s not a problem. Why should global warming be any different?

    To God and to our children we will be held accountable for what we do — and what we fail to do — today.

  5. 2 more concerns: CHINA & COWS…
    “Cow ’emissions’ more damaging to planet than CO2 from cars By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor Published: 10 December 2006”

    “China now no. 1 in CO2 emissions; USA in second position”
    “In 2006 global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use increased by about 2.6%, which is less than the 3.3% increase in 2005. The 2.6% increase is mainly due to a 4.5% increase in global coal consumption, of which China contributed more than two-third. China’s 2006 CO2 emissions surpassed those of the USA by 8%.”

  6. Global food (and hamburger) consumption do need to be addressed.

    Even if we’re no longer in #1 position over-all, we’re still a big part of the problem and we’re probably still #1 per capita. The Chinese outnumber us by more than 4 to 1. It only makes sense that they should finally be #1, due to no hard work of ours. Unless you count the billions of dollars in goods that U.S. consumers buy from coal-powered Chinese factories….

  7. global warming is becoming such a obvious problem that someone somewhere other than Al Gore needs to step up to help drive the bus!

  8. What is exciting is that evangelical Christians and security hawks are jumping on the band wagon. They should have been on long ago, but hey, welcome aboard!

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