I’ve often heard people say that making the changes necessary to address climate change will cost trillions of dollars – and that we shouldn’t make that kind of financial committment unless the rest of the world agrees to do the same. It seems to me that’s like a game of ‘chicken’; we’re all moving head on to disaster and no one is willing to change direction. Well, thankfully, not everyone thinks that way. I’ve met some people on my travels that are making changes without waiting for anyone else to do the same.
One was Eric who I met while walking just east of Monterey MA. He was on his bicycle and, I later found out that he almost always travels by bike. He sold his car a few years back and now he gets around by bike or mass transit. He is a locksmith in Boston and he even carries his tools to various jobs on his bike.
That shows dedication since the roads and streets around Boston are not always accessible by bike. When he does need a car, Eric rents from a local car rental.
I met Paul just east of Springfield. He stopped to talk to me after watching me negotiate a dangerous intersection. Paul works with equiculture.org, an organization that is working to adopt and rescue draft horses and to put them back to work on farms. Paul made a good case for using draft horses as part of a fossil-fuel free agriculture. Of course, in the scope of human history, draft animals have been the norm. Agricultural machinery powered by fossil fuels represent only he blink of an eye in agricultural history.
Finally, I visited the Berry Farm outside Chatham NY. The owner, Joe Gilbert, showed me how they are getting their energy from the sun – both photovoltaic and passive solar. The farm has an impressive solar array that generate enough electricity to power 15 homes. The passive solar panels are used to heat water which is then used to heat growing beds in several greenhouses. He also said that , by using a heat exchanger, that same solar heated water is used to cool the greenhouses in the summer.
So these are some people who are not sitting on their hands waiting for someone else to make the first move. They are taking the initiative now. And isn’t that kind of initiative a big part of what makes America an exceptional place?