Quick Green Reads For The Weekend Volume 154.


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In case you missed it, yesterday I wrote a “Dear Obama” letter regarding healthcare reform. Dear President Obama: We Need Healthcare Reform Right Now. Health care should be a right for every person on earth, and it’s about time the U.S. catches up to the rest of the world in providing access to it for everyone. Please make your voice heard on this issue, however you see fit. On to the news…

I have written on education reform multiple times. It is no secret that I am not a fan of the current American education system, the decrease in free time for children, excessive homework, and the fast track that many parents are putting their children on.

I think it’s easy to get discouraged when the powers that be, whether they’re local, state or national, fail to do something in line with your views. Take the Copenhagen summit, for example. We had high hopes that a binding climate deal would be reached, but that didn’t happen. You can write letters and stage protests and do all sorts of things to make your voice heard, but in the end, not everything is going to go your way. Sad but true. But there’s hope.

If I were to ask 10 random people what they would expect would be a sign of the arrival of “peak oil”, I would expect that all 10 would say “high oil prices”. Let me tell you what I think the symptoms of the arrival of peak oil are.

Whether sending my husband out with a metal tiffin for Chinese soup when I’m sick or bringing my own stainless steel wine glasses to an outdoor music festival to avoid plastic cups, my actions have provoked both smiles and raised eyebrows. And in the end, do my efforts really matter? Can one person bringing her own mug, water bottle, food containers, glass straw, cloth napkins, reusable utensils, and of course cloth bags really make an impact on the environmental problems we face today ?

The average US household wastes a lot of food. I know I have definitely been guilty of this myself. If we have to clean out our frig once a month and throw half the contents away spoiled, unused, and moldy than we are wasting food and wasting money. How much of our monthly food bill is actually tossed in the garbage? $20? $30? How do we nip this problem in the bud?

What can one person do to cut down on the amount of plastic in the ocean? How about picking 560 pounds of garbage from the shoreline?

The climate, energy, and political catastrophe we are facing is mind-boggling and frightening. Yet there is still time to save ourselves, to move beyond psychological denial, despair, or false optimism. There is still hope if we are willing to confront the hydra-headed monsters that block our path, and move ahead with a decisive plan of action. The inspirational message we need to deliver is that we’re not just talking about drastically reducing fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution, but rebuilding society, creating in effect a New Woman and a New Man for the 21st Century.

Have a great weekend everyone.

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  1. Just curious – do you have healthcare? I don’t – and thus I could lose everything by getting sick one single time. Whether our country has the “right” kind of healthcare doesn’t help the 47 million Americans who go broke, lose their houses, or end up homeless because they get sick. First things first – get these people coverage they can afford, before we lose even more Americans to something so un-American.

  2. Just curious – have you stopped to think that the kind of “health care” done in this country is the equivalent of the big industries producing pollution & big corp. farming? Our country hasn’t a CLUE about what REAL health care is about. Our current medical system – well the drugs alone are the 3rd leading cause of death in this country.

    I agree that everyone has the right to affordable health care, but what was being promoted by our gov’t would limit health care & choices & bring us under the corporate “health care” system which is nothing more than promoting poor health (thru toxins & processed foods) for more profit.

  3. Yes. I have health care. It is a catastrophic policy that covers almost nothing & costs $95/month. Before that we had a policy with a HMO we were paying $350/month & it covered NOTHING of alternative health. Dropped that & now pay out of pocket for all the alternative medicine i do – it comes to about $350/month.

    Since i have chronic illness that is almost certainly caused by current conventional medical care, i don’t trust them for anything but the most emergent of care.

    I don’t deny that health care coverage is needed in this country. But what was being proposed was a huge blanket coverage for all people & that just doesn’t make sense. Encourage folks to go with catastrophic policies & do health savings accounts to cover the other expenses. Cover the folks without coverage, but trying to cover all the country just doesn’t fly. They will have to limit care severely & they won’t cover – or possibly even allow – many alternative health care options. That will leave folks with only what the gov’t allows unless they have $$$.

    This country has amazing facilities for catastrophic illness, car accidents & emergency care. But the track record for handling chronic illness (most certainly caused by toxins & processed foods) is abysmal.

    I know it is scary to think of losing all you have due to something emergent – & for that we need a plan in place. I hope, for your sake & for those who are not covered, that we can find a plan to fix that.

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