Dec. 11th, 2012

Daily life: 10:10 carbon reduction challenge - how I did in 2012

"Noting with grave concern the significant gap between the aggregate effect of Parties’ mitigation pledges in terms of global annual emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020 and aggregate emission pathways consistent with having a likely chance of holding the increase in global average temperature below 2°C or 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels . . ."

--The United Nations, at its December 2012 meeting on climate change.

"There is no new finance (for adapting to climate change and getting clean energy) - only promises that something might materialise in the future. Those who are obstructive need to talk not about how their people will live, but whether our people will live."

--The representative for the small island states at the meeting.

"The disconnect between the level of ambition the parties are showing here and what needs to happen to avoid dangerous climate change is profound."

--Jennifer Haverkamp, director of the international climate programs at the Environmental Defense Fund, commenting on the above meeting.


This seems an appropriate moment to talk about my 10:10 pledge to cut my carbon footprint by 10% this year. When reading the extremely depressing reports about the Doha climate talks - not to mention this attractive, scary summary of the situation from The Guardian - I was struck especially by this sentence in a New York Times article: "It has long been evident that the United Nations talks were at best a partial solution to the planetary climate change problem, and at worst an expensive sideshow. The most effective actions to date have been taken at the national, state and local levels . . ."

Local levels. That means me.

So I thought I'd share with you my own small efforts this year to help save the planet. If you folks have suggestions on other things I can try, I'd love to hear from you.

I'll skip to the climax: I did it. I cut my carbon footprint by 10% this year.

How I did it )

The lesson in all this: Be short of cash. It does wonders for your carbon footprint.

This year's 10:10 pledge isn't the end of the story for me. The standard goal is to cut the world's carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, though a lot of scientists - seeing that the planet is going to hell much faster than even the worst-case scenarios had projected - are suggesting that we need to reach zero carbon emissions a lot sooner than that.

So next year, I'll try to shave another 10% off my carbon footprint. I'll share my journey with you then.

Apr. 21st, 2012

Daily life: Stories, Waterman research trip to Southern Md, counselling, carbon footprint, & health

"It used to be that I would clean the oven to avoid writing because traditional publishing was total bleakness interrupted by 10 minutes of happiness when your agent called to say she had sold your book. There followed a year of silence while the book was 'produced.' Publication was brief. The salesmen (you heard right) decided the print run and if it was in the low five digits, the book was DOA. Two years of your life had been eaten up. The Prozac months followed.

"Now I write avidly because I can publish what I write. Once written and edited, I can publish a book in a matter of minutes and sell it 24/7. I have satisfied my two passions: writing and commerce."

--Consuelo Saah Baehr, as qouted in David Gaughran's Let's Get Digital.

What I wrote this month, and what story is coming next )
Waterman research trip to Calvert County in Southern Maryland (illustrated) )
Counselling )
10:10 challenge: Reducing my carbon emissions by 10% )
Dusk's recipe for Vegan Chocolate Pudding )
Health )

May 2018




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