Monday, April 7, 2008

50 Simple Things

Yesterday there was an interesting interview on the radio. The author of 50 Simple Things You Can Do To Save The Earth was discussing how his views have changed since he wrote the first edition of the book in 1989. And why he released a new version of the book recently.

Back then he thought, admittedly naively, that it would be relatively simple to improve our planet. If the information were made available, people would adopt it and changes would happen by each person doing their part. That never happened. Eventually, he became disenchanted and less eco-active.

What started him back on the path was when his 13 year old daughter found an old copy of the book (written before she was born). After reading it, she asked him why he had stopped composting. He started to tell her his cynical view about the futility of changing world, but stopped before the words came out of his mouth when he realized he was looking into the 'eyes of the future'.

This moment sent him back to the drawing board. His initial book focused on individuals working independently. He decided to re-write the book with a focus on individuals working collectively. Rather than just 50 things you can do, it is now focused around 50 causes. For each cause there are steps that you can personally take ranging from simple to hardcore AND lists of groups that support that cause, actions they are taking and how you can join in.

He commented that it has become apparent that political action is necessary and vital to the broad success of environmental movements. Nothing moves quickly through a political process. He compared it to turning an aircraft carrier around. Actions often do not show immediate results. The process is slow and takes a lot of room. Only with persistent effort, can it be accomplished.

What are the 50 things you can do? They are all listed on his website.

#1 is Bring back the Electric Vehicle.

I was surprised to see this as #1. As you know from reading this blog, this is something that I am passionate about.

#3 on the list was another topic frequently discussed here - Solar!

Click any of the pictures above for more info on that topic, or to see the complete list.

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