dimanche, avril 20, 2008

Charting the future

"For us to wait for legislation or technology to solve the problem of how we’re living our lives suggests we’re not really serious about changing — something our politicians cannot fail to notice. They will not move until we do. Indeed, to look to leaders and experts, to laws and money and grand schemes, to save us from our predicament represents precisely the sort of thinking — passive, delegated, dependent for solutions on specialists — that helped get us into this mess in the first place. It’s hard to believe that the same sort of thinking could now get us out of it". Michael Pollan in the Sunday NYT Times

I'm not, in general, a passive person. A major decision in college and awful grief in my mid-thirties marked me with a dedication to grappling with what life serves up, instead of sitting back and simply allowing the thunder to crack around me.

In addition, I hail from a family of sometimes charmingly (and sometimes maybe not), hardheaded humanitarians-so the thought that we would rather sit back and allow someone else to make our choices for us puzzles me.

I tend to cut passive people, for those reasons, very little slack-and have a tough time accepting the reality that many of us feel dealing with our own daily lives in enough, thank you very much.

Yet just when I've accepted that lots of Americans don't vote, don't even seem interested, voter registration skyrockets. Just when I'm I think we've given up on taking democracy seriously, the coming election arouses passion in a way that many of us haven't experienced in our lifetimes.

Really, gentle readers, I'm so happy to be proved prejudiced, self-righteous and WRONG. Just don't try to trick me too often.

What if we applied the same enthusiasm and sense of ownership to making personal decisions about climate change (see Michael Pollan's entire article in the link)?

Read this essay, with its persuasive but concrete call to put your money where your mouth is, and try to figure out where on the spectrum you happen to be-you've still got time to harvest those tomatoes and melons in August!

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