Sustainable Pledge 2009

Rather than losing weight, getting in shape, spending less money, or any of the other most common New Year’s resolutions, why not make a concerted effort to live greener.  Aside from helping assure a better life for your own future, it may just lead to accomplishing those traditional resolutions as well.

I’m currently reading Living Green: A Practical Guide to Simple Sustainability.  Its a simple book with great pointers to get you going.  I like that it provides simple ways to ramp up without the full-on guilt of environmental purism.  There are ample facts and statistics to help break the contradictory urban legends of what’s green, what’s not, and why.  Greg Horn’s book is well worth the read and a good primer to go further in a number of directions whether its organic eating health or energy saving.

Happy New Year!

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A Simple Platform for Barack Obama

On Linked-In, Barack Obama recently queried members how they think we should keep America competitive in the years ahead.  Below is my answer:

America’s gotten fat and spoiled.  You can’t say that as a person running for office, but its a hard statement to disagree with.  All you have to do is look at two recent stories: there’s a fuel crisis and type-2 diabetes is at epidemic levels.

We consume a more disproportionate amount of energy than any other nation on earth.  When we want something (which we do a lot) we want it now and we don’t care about the economics.  We use a lot of energy to satiate that demand.  We drive all over the place.  We over-commit our time to leave our local community to make money or extend our influence outside of our local world.  If we’d slow down and work in our local communities, we’d help ourselves a lot.

“Turn off that television, walk outside, and help people in your community” would be a great, simple phrase to activate people.  Instead of doing that, most people rush through the fast-food drive-thru to come home and sit in front of the tv watching some news channel, fearing the gloom and doom they spout.  We’ve become a bunch of spectators of life.  Perhaps I’m not much better contributing this online, but don’t think I won’t be sharing these opinions with my family, co-workers, and neighbors as I go about my busy day.

If we want to be competitive internationally, we have to first be responsible domestically, and that starts in the home.  It continues with the example we set for our kids in living responsible, compassionate lives.

What do you think?

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Does the World See us as the New England Patriots?

I rooted for the New York Giants in the recent Super Bowl as I assume most Americans did.  We like to root for underdogs, especially when the favored team is so dominant, tainted, and believes in their own superiority, no matter what they’ll admit to in public.  The little guy winning means we all stand a chance in the future.

Does the rest of the world see America in the same light that so many of us saw the New England Patriots?  Patriot fans must have felt injustice, before and after the Super Bowl.  After all, they are an excellent team.  They’d brush off “Spygate” saying  that their victories since then more than prove that it was never really a factor in winning.  In a similar vein, we may underestimate the involvement of our CIA in our success overseas since the 1940’s.  Patriot fans feel like they deserved to win the Super Bowl because they had a perfect regular season.  Do we feel like we deserve the world’s resources because we have the money and we are a “democracy?”

Don’t get me wrong.  Just as I don’t wish any true ill-will to  the Patriots players, I don’t think most of the world wants Americans to die.  I’d be willing to bet that they’d love to see us slapped back into a .500 season on par with the rest of the league, though.  As Americans, isn’t it about time we stood back and realized that the rest of the world has a point.

We should stop denying that we have a tainted view of our “right” to the world’s resources and understand that the rest of the world has a point.  Our long term success as a team requires that the league thrives with us.

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Getting Past the Slandering of Ron Paul

I recently argued with some attorney-friends of mine that the recent slander aimed at Ron Paul (later disputed) was a ridiculous political trick made famous by the likes of Karl Rove. The article cites racist comments from Ron Paul affiliated organization newsletters of the 1980’s. Obviously slung mud as the campaign season heats up. Their concern was that I was shooting the messenger when I wrote the whole thing off as political trash. I think when the messenger’s intent is to feed the derailed system further into circumstantial twists of a fat mis-directed government and culture, maybe the messenger deserves the fate of “being shot.”

When it comes to lawyers, I like to refer to a parable of a lawyer in the old American West. He was very poor and practically starving as the only lawyer in “those parts.” When another lawyer settled in the area, they became the two richest men around.

Lawyers are paid to argue. More specifically to win their clients argument for them because the official rules are too complex for them. Voting is a society’s way of arguing for a leader. Pundits, columnists, etc. lawyer complex facets into the simple argument of the election process that should quite simply be of character and priorities.

Maybe that is why attorneys see no problem with what should be a non-issue of dirty politics. His comment:

I got nuthin on this Ron Paul thing. I like what he stands for. But I gotta agree with the author that Paul prob is not a racist, but it’s inconceivable and inexcusable that he apptly DID NOTHING over the course of years to stop a foundation that he owned a piece of to stop publishing trash with his name on it. Other than apologize for his carelessness with how he let his name be used, he didn’t really do anything that we know of to stop it.
At some point didn’t someone say, “Hey Ron that newsletter of yours is printing stuff that accused MLK of being a pedophile. You may want to check into that and see what’s going on over there.”?

Is it just me, or does that just try to justify large staffs on the taxpayers’ dollar making court issues and big government snowball. You can’t control what people say about you. Why hire a staff to try?

I believe if people live long enough, anything they say can be taken out of context to say the opposite of its initial intention. I don’t know if Ron Paul’s brand of common sense works at the level of a 300 million person population, but I’d bet that’s where his angle on states’ rights stems from. I believe him to be of good character, but that doesn’t always translate to the 300 million by the time the message reaches them.

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Wake up call on big government

The 800+ pages that comprise the recently signed CAFE energy bill prove that our expectations of our federal government are either way out-of-whack or severly misunderstood. What could be determined by the market was twisted into a bloated, convoluted rag that sucked up huge amounts of government resources (mostly elected politicians and civil servant time). All it does is create self-fulfilling loops of complexity to justify litigation, tax consulting, and more lobbying.

The key to the “emperor has no clothes” fable was that the public knew to keep their clothes on. I’m looking around at a naked crowd on these shores.

Our government’s motto should be: Infrastructure, peace, and protection for the future. In other words: teamwork, compassion, and responsible planning.

Fuel economy is a solution better served by common sense, NOT by what was just handed to America by a corrupt, bloated, federal government.  Someone give them some clothes to wear.

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Responsible Simplicity to Save our Country

If there is one thing that upsets me most about America, its our unwillingness to be responsible. If we were accountable, trustworthy, and honest, we’d see that we need to change our ways to save our society from ruin. Why do we

  1. Claim to love our children while we squander the very limited resources that they will need to survive
  2. Waste time and resources on CAFE laws that will only really kick in way after economic conditions will have already forced our car buying habits
  3. Waste lives, money, and international goodwill fighting a war for oil when we should be sucking-it-up and reducing our energy waste by measurable personal lifestyle changes
  4. Believe in religions that only attribute rewards for people believing a narrow doctrine while simultaneously excusing their patrons from most of its core beliefs in the fight to force others to believe or die

Instead, why don’t we

  1. Show we care for our children and the world we’re handing over to them by being environmental role models
  2. Streamline the government, simplify the tax code, and kill-off 99% of litigation
  3. Get out of Iraq, stop bullying, and start listening
  4. Get religion back out of the government and replace politically correctness with true compassion.
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Is it too late to save our children’s planet?

I came across this article that says it all. After a few minutes of thought and a sip of coffee, the following transpired:

Time to get motivated.

If you want an understanding of my concern, might I suggest the following books:

Posted in Environment, Family | 1 Comment