I realize I still have not gone out to get proof of the eleventy-billion grackles that live in my neighbourhood. Peace offering? One solitary grackle below. You would be an angry bird too if there wasn’t a nice fluffy towel following your bath.
The EPA and Act on Climate Change
First things first: please read Poison Spring by E.G. Vallianatos and McKay Jenkins. A good review can be found here. The review is a kind of Cliff’s Notes version if you don’t want to read the book. Vallianatos worked at the EPA for 25 years. The book is an éxpose about how it has come to pass that the EPA pretty much completely fails to protect the public. McKay Jenkins is a professional science writer who collaborated to make Poison Spring a quick and suspenseful read.
I realize sometimes I am the last person to know these things but I just heard today about the EPA’s program to reduce carbon pollution. When I saw the details, I didn’t know which response was better: disgust or anger.
I read about it in passing on someone’s blog — a writer who ironically enough was complaining about how the EPA controls everyone’s very existence. haha I guess NOBODY likes the EPA. Link to the EPA plan can be found here. Basically, the agency charged with protecting the environment does have a plan to help stop climate change. Faced with unprecedented species extinctions, shrinking glaciers, less fresh water availability for everyone, possible increases in floods and droughts, crops that will fail because of reduced chill hours, changes in sea levels affecting marine life, ocean acidification and so much more the EPA rolled out its great idea. Wait for it …
They have published 30 tips to help us Act on Climate Change. Bonus! They included some handy graphics we can share with others using social media.
Ok. I just realized that neither disgust or anger really fit the situation. I am going with disbelief.
First: NOAA has already done a great job of educating people about climate change. The information is out there and a consensus has been reached. Maybe the EPA didn’t get the memo. However, even if that were true, not one of the tips the EPA offers is news or terribly helpful. I dare you to find even one person on the planet who doesn’t already know that recycling is a good idea. everyone already knows to turn out the light and turn off the tap. Should a government agency offer green-washing suggestions about which products to buy?
Second: They didn’t include the one tip that COULD help. Reducing or eliminating meat and cheese from our diets would have a huge impact on the global warming trend. Producing one patty of meat releases as much greenhouse gas into the atmosphere as driving a 3,000-pound car nearly 10 miles. Meat and cheese production accounts for more greenhouse gases than construction or transportation. So, to the EPA here’s a real tip: Meatless Monday for starters. (Happy side note: An American public school now offers a fully vegetarian school diet with hot entrées. Bonus! They are not based on cheese)
Third: I would be much more interested in learning what the EPA (an agency with funding, a mandate to protect the environment and hopefully some better science than they are showing) is actually doing to address the problem. Why pass the problem on to us when fixing this problem is their day job?
Fact I just learned today: our livestock system accounts for 18% of the greenhouse gas emissions and for 80% of total anthropogenic land use.
80% ! Do we really value cows more than people or wildlife? I can think of some better uses for all that land. I bet you can, too.