At the beginning, already five years ago, I began writing in this blog as a way of conveying my thoughts on environmental, social and personal issues. I have long been an activist for environmental and humanitarian causes and at one point I was much more eager to share my thoughts about troubling issues. Before FoodCycle launched, before there was ever a mission or a ride to support sustainable food in schools, there were thoughts about how to change a system that isn’t working for us, for our communities. In essence this was the genesis for FoodCycle; my answer in some small way was in creation, the creation of something tangible that could combat an element to our culture that is killing our environment (and by association us): Industrial Agriculture.
In the years since this blog launched the tone and subject of our posts has focused more and more on updates about our work rather than opinions on larger systemic challenges facing us, the inhabitants of this beautiful earth, due to the advance of global climate change. With no formal fundraising cause in the works, and while I sit and reflect on the small piece of the larger puzzle FoodCycle has tried to address, I offer this blog entry on recent observations to salient news events,
Last month, in Hawaii, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations were measured at 402 parts per million (ppm). This number marks the highest level of atmospheric CO2 levels in the 3.5 million years that represent human existence on earth. It constitutes a concentration that’s nearly 15% higher than 350 ppm-a number that renowned author, activist, and founder of 350.org Bill Mckibben as well as many others have targeted as ideal to the condition of human life on Earth. The sad and sobering reality is that if all anthropogenic sources of carbon emission ceased right now the concentration of atmospheric CO2 would continue to rise due to large terrestrial carbon sinks and the melting of permafrost carbon pools. Compounding this issue is the fact that as recently as last week a 2016 Presidential candidate from the Republican Party vehemently rejected the notion the Climate Change exists-noting that “In New Hampshire there was snow everywhere.”
To highlight this banal rhetoric a Senator from Oklahoma threw a snow ball during a Senate hearing as if to underscore a disastrous logic that disassociates us from our own actions. We can’t possibly be to blame for this, and plus it’s snowing in the Capital so who cares about the crippling drought consuming the most populous state in the country. It’s too scary to believe, so business as usual it is!
I no longer believe we can rely on top down measures to combat the greatest issue of our time. I no longer believe that sensible policy should be expected from those we elect to represent us. I no longer believe that there’s room for the false pretense of “good choices” in an industrial society, that by driving a more efficient vehicle or recycling or composting we’re somehow doing enough to mitigate global crises. It’s not enough. It’s still too heavy a burden for this Earth of ours to bare.
What I do believe however is that we must fundamentally alter how we perceive consumption. We need a new Consumption Consciousness. We consume. this is something we cannot avoid. We breathe consuming nitrogen, oxygen and other trace gasses, we drink consuming the beautiful bonded molecule of hydrogen and oxygen, we eat consuming the calories needed to advance the metabolic process. But how did we get to a place where we feel entitled to every other form of consumption that defines our daily lives? What does it take to break the bonds of this entitlement and where does one start? These are the questions I see everywhere now, leading me to decisions that have (hopefully) life-long implications.
I’m beginning this journey-wherever it leads.