“It’s the end of the world as we know it, but I feel fine” – Or, in other words: the bike is the answer

Since my post last week about climate change and the impending apocalypse for humans and the world as we know it (cue R.E.M., please), a massive chunk of the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica broke away from the larger land mass. This shelf is the third one to break away in recent years, and this one only in 3 years time.
The headline from the The New York Times?
“Maps will need to be redrawn – an iceberg the size of Delaware broke away from Antarctica”
TL;DR version of the Times article:
“The collapse of the peninsula’s ice shelves can be interpreted as fulfilling a prophecy made in 1978 by a renowned geologist named John H. Mercer of Ohio State University. In a classic paper, Dr. Mercer warned that the western part of Antarctica was so vulnerable to human-induced climate warming as to pose a “threat of disaster” from rising seas.
He said that humanity would know the calamity had begun when ice shelves started breaking up along the peninsula, with the breakups moving progressively southward.
The Larsen A ice shelf broke up over several years starting in 1995; the Larsen B underwent a dramatic collapse in 2002; and now, scientists fear, the calving of the giant iceberg could be the first stage in the breakup of Larsen C.
“As climate warming progresses farther south,” Dr. Rignot said, “it will affect larger and larger ice shelves, holding back bigger and bigger glaciers, so that their collapse will contribute more to sea-level rise.'”
While our homes may not be under water yet, think of all the wild life that will soon be extinct at the South pole. We have already seen horrifying images of emaciated polar bears, dying of starvation or floating helplessly on a thawing piece of ice. Soon enough it won’t just be the wildlife we have come to love going extinct – it will be us. Of course, the industries of capitalism don’t want to tell you these things. Frankly speaking, they would eventually go out of business or dramatically fall in their stock holdings – something to do with money.
An article I link to at the bottom of my post cites that for each child a family has (or in this case may choose not to have), it’s equal to 58.6 tonnes of CO2 /per year!
Want to make a change but don’t know how? Check out this other article, or if you don’t want to read it, here’s highlight:
“The four actions that most substantially decrease an individual’s carbon footprint are: eating a plant-based diet, avoiding air travel, living car-free, and having smaller families.”
AKA – ride your bike! The bike is the answer. Riding a bicycle is one of the best things you can do for yourself and the environment… Endorphins released from the exercise or minimal effort of cycling can promote positive thinking and encourage a state of overall happiness.
Don’t believe me? Try it! What better way to take charge of your transportation than at the handle bars of your own bike! Ditch the traffic jams and car insurance for an investment in your health and the health of your environment. And if you’re in the Athens area, there are some radical bike shops more than happy to help you find your two-wheeled mate. Ben’s Bikes The Hub Bicycles BikeAthens are just a few to name. And the relentless Tyler Dewey, who is steadfast in promoting and supporting a bike-friendly Athens! For my St. Simons or South Georgia folks, check out Monkeywrench Bicycles.
#bikefriendly #thebikeistheanswer
Here is another article from The Guardian, discussing further in detail:
…And another, of a climate scientist who gave up flying, among other creature comforts, for the sake of our planet:
Click here for a link to a free carbon footprint calculator, from the folks at the Nature Conservancy.

Apocalypse pending – but actually

The Uninhabitable Earth

above link and quotes below courtesy of NY Magazine

I have been vegan for 4 years and vegetarian for nearly 7 more – around 10 years of conscious awareness of my diet and lifestyle. I’m 24 now, so this began around age 14. If a young teenager can moderate her diet and lifestyle without too much ardor, it should be much easier for the adults living in the comfort of the western world. Or maybe not, as wealth seems to lend itself to the lovely “seven sins”: gluttony, wrath, sloth, envy, lust, pride, greed.  And once people have acquired what we in the western world consider “wealth”, they don’t like to give it up. This is the moment where we need to seriously sit ourselves down for conversation and take into account and question what are we doing? How can the western lifestyle possibly be good, sustainable, advantageous, etc., at all, if in the long run, when it is now harming more people than it benefits? (I’m referring here to all the thousands of people slaving away in developing countries to make your cell phone or trendy t-shirt … we can save fast fashion for another discussion.) We have lost touch with humanity at expense of humanity.

“By 2090, as many as 2 billion people globally will be breathing air above the WHO “safe” level; one paper last month showed that, among other effects, a pregnant mother’s exposure to ozone raises the child’s risk of autism (as much as tenfold, combined with other environmental factors). Which does make you think again about the autism epidemic in West Hollywood”

“It takes 16 calories of grain to produce just a single calorie of hamburger meat, butchered from a cow that spent its life polluting the climate with methane farts.”

“Remember, we do not live in a world without hunger as it is. Far from it: Most estimates put the number of undernourished at 800 million globally. In case you haven’t heard, this spring has already brought an unprecedented quadruple famine to Africa and the Middle East; the U.N. has warned that separate starvation events in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen could kill 20 million this year alone.”
#vegan #climatechange #bigag

we have a responsibility as stewards of the earth, not only to the earth but to ourselves, to take care of it. but taking care of the earth needs to be more than recycling plastic bottles and going bag-less at the grocery. that helps, but we can help more by looking at our diets and significantly reducing the amount of meat and dairy products consumed. don’t try to argue that consuming these things isn’t harming the planet – it is, it’s a fact and if you don’t know that and want to challenge it or tell me i’m an extremist vegan, go find the facts yourself as it’s obviously something you don’t know and need to know. it’s not pleasant to hear, or think about – cutting out comfort foods or favorite family recipes. i know people who won’t change their diet because of “comfort food”, which likely won’t exist by the end of our lives. but if you want your progeny to continue using those recipes or even have a moderately liveable life, seriously take a step back and see where you can amend your daily diet and lifestyle. . stop buying new / cars every 4 years and keep the same car until the damn thing falls apart. take the (gasp!) bus, ride a bicycle – one the healthiest things you can do for yourself and the world. keep your ass in shape, stay happier and reduce your carbon footprint simply by pedaling.
same with cell phones or any other technology. all this stuff takes oil to make, along with a lot of other environmentally hazardous materials, not to mention what happens when people get tired of whatever said device is, and throws it away. Some countries have recycling facilities, but many do not. all these trinkets end up in landfills, contributing hazardous pollutants to the atmosphere.
maybe you don’t live in an area where you think climate change is affecting you – but it’s a bigger picture than yourself. millions of people will die, and thousands already have died, due to summer heat waves on almost every continent. the international seed bank in norway nearly flooded this year, because the ice melted. and now millions of tons of potential methane gas are posed to be released if the permafrost (remember this from elementary school? supposed to be frost in the soil frozen PERMANENTLY) melts. literally hell will be on earth in less than a century if every person doesn’t make an effort to do his or her part (mostly in the comfortable, western world). ..
not to mention prehistoric bacteria, plagues, disease and all sorts of other humanity-killing things. it’s already happening. if you don’t make it to the end of the article, the writer mentions some boys who died from coming in contact with an unfrozen, dead reindeer and contracting anthrax released from the thawed out bacteria of the carcass in the area of sibera.
okay, so you don’t care? that’s fine (not really), but you could at least continue the conversation with other people who might be selfless enough to care.
or maybe a mass human extinction is what needs to happen. i bet the cows and all the other animals we torture would be a hell of a lot happier without us.