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Why Bother Saving the World?

In the scientific community, there is almost no dispute about the existence of global climate change and its causal relationship with human activity. Since the industrial revolution, humans have been releasing copious amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, effectively blanketing the earth. Arctic sea ice melts, sea temperatures rise, glaciers retreat, vegetation changes. We have sprung changes upon the natural world in a short amount of time, giving plants and animals little time to adapt. We have a history of arrogantly exploiting the natural world. In the grand scheme of things, we’re at a moment where we’re faced with a challenge: to care about something greater than ourselves.   Because you’re reading this, I’ll assume that you do accept that anthropogenic factors have played a role in global climate change. This means you’re on the same page as the overwhelming majority of scientists, climatologists included. This increased awareness of global climate change and sensitivity towards energy consumption has, in part, been a catalyst for progress in renewable energy. Priorities are shifting and gradually we’re seeing public policies reflect this change. It’s these policies that are helping solar energy compete with fossil fuels (which are also subsidized). Truthfully, most people are motivated to adopt renewable energy because it saves them money. People go solar to cut back on their electric bills and see a solid ROI. But is there something else beneath the surface that motivates us? Are we just rationally self-interested “consumers” or are these decisions, at least in part, informed some higher emotional faculty? What are our underlying motivations for taking on the challenge to reduce our carbon footprint on this planet? Our worldviews bring about a set of values in response to the crisis of global climate change. We obviously care about this planet we call home, but for what sake do we care? Some wish for a clean environment because of your vested interest in the survival of their children and descendents. Perhaps you believe that the earth and all its resources are ours for the taking, so we must change our consumption habits in order for humankind to endure long-term. If people are not conscientious of environmental behavior now, humankind’s means for survival can be cut short in the future. These types of worldviews are most consistent with more human-centered, Western ideologies. Alternatively, your concern for the well-being of the planet could be rooted in a concern for life as a whole…. a more nonhuman-centered worldview. Do you see inherent dignity in all living things who deserve to live and thrive? This view is consistent with deep ecology. Deep ecology is the view that...

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your light switch is your vote

Earth Hour 2009 is just around the corner, If you haven’t heard about the yearly phenomenon, let me explain. Earth Hour is a annual event in which people around the globe to reduce electrical consumption by powering down their buildings from 8:30p to 9:30p, the impact Earth Hour has on the world is amazing, even if it’s just a one hour blackout, the global event results an enormous amounts of kWh (kilowatt-hours) conserved. How many negawatts will the world create by saving energy for one hour? Energy conservation has direct bottom line impact to our environment. I suppose Earth Hour is a fun way for people to realize that conserving energy is the first step towards solving our environmental problems. Earth Hour is the only annual celebration with the theme of saving energy and major cities around the world will be hosting Earth Hour celebrations to promote the cause. You can learn more about Earth Hour celebrations near you here in the US by checking out the official website. Here in L.A. we’re preparing for one of the largest Earth Hour events. I found out about the L.A. Earth Hour event by one of the people behind the scenes, Mike Bonifer of Game Changers who is working creatively to promote and educate people about the event and why it’s important for everyone to participate on this historic day. What are you doing for Earth Hour? Will you be turning off the lights? If your going to be heading out to Turn Out, L.A. please contact...

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