What’s it gonna take?

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?

2 thoughts on “What’s it gonna take?

  1. Mary K. Outten

    Thank you for magnifying the GOOD that is out there.
    With our co-opted, corrupt, disgusting mass-media, we don’t hear too much about the innovations everyday people make in their own lives. With our government that DOES NOT CARE about this issue, the only way we will know the merits of living a simpler lifestyle, is by living a simpler lifestyle.
    Cars SUCK, but our entire government and all the ” systems” in this country revolve around them.
    We live the the AGE of the AUTOMOBILE.
    BRAVO to the brave Bicyclists and Walkers who find ways to circumnavigate the system and THRIVE.

  2. Brendan

    I just saw you go by headed through downtown Seneca Falls, NY! This is one town that has- being on a major historic trade route- seen every face of the industrial era that shaped our modern world. It has been fueled by a wagon road, the Seneca River, the Erie Canal, a major railroad line, and the NY Thruway, and every stage of development associated with them. And now it is a town gradually becoming more friendly to bikes and pedestrians, as it embodies the perfect setup for a future sustainable town community.

    In a less direct way, even the town’s contributions to healthcare work to a sustainable future. This is home to New York Chiropractic College. By making efforts for a more healthy culture, America is apt to see changes in the food industry and elsewhere that promote sustainability. More directly, the conservative healthcare paradigm- that is to say, decreased reliance on pharmaceuticals and expensive procedures- may contribute to decreased resource consumption in the healthcare industry.


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