The Great Warming

What does it take to get the attention of our young people, the generation that will be most impacted by the coming changes of such great magnitude?

Certainly it must reach them through the buzz, use the internet and other current technologies well, and be timely. The Great Warming seems to have covered those bases, even if the home page is so full of great information as to be overwhelming. And what a great graphic, don’t you think?

So let me narrow it down for you, for starters: Check out the Discussion Guide on Global Warming: Changing CO2urse. (Not a typo, but it takes a minute.)

Sponsored by the Northwest Earth Institute, seven study guides are offered, including

  • Voluntary Simplicity
  • Choices for Sustainable Living
  • Exploring Deep Ecology
  • Discovering a Sense of Place
  • Globalization and Its Critics
  • Healthy Children-Healthy Planet
  • Global Warming: Changing Co2urse

As you might imagine, the module on Discovering a Sense of Place caught my attention. I have seen this bonding between people and place crucial in my own story to gain a perspective not possible as a migrant homeowner. Even one’s sense of patriotism–honoring the father-land, literally–must begin in the countryside before it can fully extend to love of country.

Also, a reminder that Step It Up 2007 (Bill McKibben’s “distributed revolution”) is April 14. Read more about it in Business Week.

Share this with your friends!

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. The latest issue of Missouri Life Magazine has a back-page editorial dismissing the “panic” notion of climate change as false. And the reason it musters for this is that “it just can’t be so.” Granted, that magazine has a fairly limited readership, but it points out that the voices of the entrenched interests are just as motivated to catch the ear of the population as the voices of reason and vision.


  2. And I can understand the difficulty some have believing a situation of this magnitude is so close at hand. It is unprecedented in human civilization that we might have to face just such a calamity as we’ve seen til now only in the sci-fi movies. And yet, we must face REAL-ity, and soon–to mitigate against the inevitable change, if we are, as I suppose, too little too late to stop the warming in the short run (coming century or three).

  3. i don’t know why but reading this brought tears to my eyes. it is real, finally, what so many of us said would come to pass. all around people are waking up, the world over, and listening to the call to action. people are educating themselves, and talking to each other, about sustainability, eating organic & local foods, about walking and cycling whenever possible, about green building, and on, and on.

    and in my ears i continually hear the whisper, “amen. even so come, lord jesus.”

  4. i’ll have to click over and check this page out….looks very interesting and helpful.

    i’ve been trying to make changes, but i’m always open to more ideas and things i can do to leave less of a physical imprint……

    and i have had the same thoughts as susanna, in her last line….

  5. I wonder how much energy we could save by simply not wasting it? In my neighborhood there has recently been a building boom. Every new house, it seems, comes equipped with a “dusk-to-dawn” light. Are we all so scared of the dark now that we don’t feel safe without these abominations? I moved here 10 years ago because I wanted to see stars at night, and the rare spectacle of a comet or Northern Lights. Now the fraidy cat, and wasteful “dusk-to-dawners” have come and with them, their light pollution. What’s wrong with night being dark, except possibly in high crime areas?

  6. and my previous comment was only about the totally unnecessary waste posed by “dusk-to-dawn” lights. What about the parking lots, gas stations, signs and buildings that are lit up bright as day (or brighter) even when there is nobody around to see it? We must now reevaluate all of it. We cannot go on expecting to use more and more energy, which we will obtain by blowing the tops off of mountains and filling streams. The time to stop the madness and the greed is now!

  7. I have a feeling the water will be lapping at the bases of the skyscrapers in a major portion of the world before some of these people believe it could happen. Sadly, we may see it in our lifetimes. If not our children will. Just call me a pessimist…

  8. Turning off the street and security lights is a terrific idea..unless you live in Oakland, LA , NYC or any large city. Homes, stores and businesses would also be more easily robbed/burgled in the dark.

    Even small towns have their share of thieves and deviants who would take advantage of unlighted streets, bus stops, parking lots and stores.

    There is no way a large city could turn off municipal lighting without creating utter chaos during commute hours. Imagine NYC without street lighting. Yikes!

    Plus millions of Americans work swing or graveyard shifts and they must do their shopping, refueling and such after dark. I rather doubt Fred would want his wife walking to her car after a night shift in darkness. Nor any women posting here would be comfortable using an unlighted parking lot at the grocery store, bus stop, walk to their jobs from their means of transport, or send their children to school without street lighting during winter months when msot of us come and go in darkness.

    We have to consider what we do carefully for every action will have unseen reactions or consequences and often the “cure” will be worse than the “problem”.
    To wit: the Prius? Perhaps it isn’t quite as green as you’ve been (mis)led to believe, eh?

    While we are being sold on hybrids as “green”; they are creating more carbons and an eco-nightmare in Canada and China, which of course is exempt from the Kyoto Treaty.

    We in California learned the hard way in the 90’s with fuel additives and recently by allowing hybrids to use HOV lanes, which are now packed with single occupant hybrid drivers instead of 3 passenger cars and the commute is longer, producing more pollution.

    Both measures were knee-jerk reactions the MTBE disaster was poorly researched as it didn’t produce the expected reduction of emissions and the unforseen migration to thegroundwater is a claamity in a semi-arid state.

    The HOV debaucle was not even well thought through as the state knew there was x vehicle capacity and issued more HOV plates than that capacity. Tens of thousands of Californians are waiting for promised HOV plates that may never be issued.

  9. I know it’s bad comment form to post back-to-back comments, but an article from today’s Washington Post provides an excellent example of why we must think measures through carefully and enact remedies based on proved science and sound management practices, not bottom lines, political expediency or bureaucratic goals.

    “When you’re trying to slow down global warming, beware of unintended consequences.”

    Please understand that I too am concerned and am not advocating doing nothing, but choosing wisely.

    I would be far more comfortable with seasoned environmental orgs and qualified activists in the decision/regulation loop; for example I trust Fred, I do not trust Congress/Govt.

    An energy and/or carbon policy that resembles the loophole laden income tax code is a far likelier outcome if left to the Pols and symbiotic lobbyists.