Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Fevered Earth?

As I freeze in the stands watching my son's baseball games I often hear, "so much for global warming." To me it's seems like the earth has a fever, exemplifying symptoms of being cold while it's hot. Climate change means that dramatic climatic events will take place more frequently, not that politicians like Gary Lunn and George Bush can hit the beach at all times of year. This program clearly and concisely lays it all out.

In the meantime there's much that can be done, and much is being done in parts of the world. Portugal is constructing the world's largest solar farm and by 2020 plans to generate one-third of its energy from clean sources. Paris, Barcelona, Copenhagen and Lyons have provided fleets of bikes available at self-serve kiosks throughout the city. In Paris, to borrow a bike you provide a credit card deposit and get the first one-half hour free and then pay accordingly. You can then leave bike at any kiosk. Unlike BlueBike programs which deterred theft by providing clunkers and never really took off, Paris's scheme is very popular. Lobby for similar goals and projects in your country; I am ashamed of Harper's goals and targets in mine.

Smaller-scale options include changing your spending habits and for "necessary" items purchasing green products. A number of clothing lines now produce clothes made from sustainable, organic, and fairly traded materials. MEC requires every cotton product to be 100 percent organic and even stores like Superstore offer the product. Bamboo is a great material because it absorbs four times the moisture as cotton and has anti-bacterial properties. Bamboo towels and sheets are awesome. Marks has a new line of bamboo briefs and Ingeo socks. They also have an Ethical Sourcing Program. In textiles, there's a wide variety of options out there (if you're ever in Victoria, head down to lower Johnson Street; you'll be amazed). Here's an article discussing some of them. It will be true progress, however, when all products are sustainably produced and biodegradable/recyclable, as they should be.

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