My biggest issue is that I have a terrible commute to work. I'm trying to do everything I can to make less of an impact on the earth, but I'm constrained with this commute. I live about 40 miles from where I work. But I live in one large city, and work in another, on the East Coast. You might think I would be able to take public transportation -- especially since both cities are adjacent to Interstate 95, a major north-south highway. You would be wrong.
Yesterday after work I had a flat tire coming out of the parking garage. I won't bore you with all the details, but basically because I never got around to getting my spare repaired, I was screwed. So I sat in a Merchant's Tire store for 2 hours (don't ask why it took so long -- they lost my car key -- just know that they didn't charge me in the end), but I was fortunate to have one of my new books. Yes -- see how interestingly life works out sometimes?
In Original Zinn, Howard Zinn talks about the lack of a motive for corporations to do anything about problems like pollution because there's no profit in it.
That profit motive means that homes will not be built for low-income people because there is no money to be made that way. Teachers' salaries will not be doubled, as they should be. The rivers, lakes, and oceans will not be cleaned up because there is no profit in it. We are not going to curtail the emissions from cars that are polluting the atmosphere and destroying the environment for ourselves and our children because that will cut into the profits of the automobile manufacturers.We live in a capitalist society, and the profit motive is an ugly reality. I'm not saying we throw out our economic system, but I am saying that we need to look at the harsh side effects of it. No one seems to want to do that anymore. Back when the first Earth Day was celebrated, 38 years ago today, many decried it as a socialist movement. The fact that April 22, 1970, was the Vladmir Lenin's 100 birthday surely must mean something, right?
The movement today must begin at home. It must begin with me and with you doing what we can to make a difference. Our society has insulated us against the realities of pollution int he world and we think as long as we change our lightbulbs we've done our part. You know what? I change my lightbulbs, I recycle, I carpool, I eat meat only occasionally, I turn the heat down in the winter and up in the summer, and look what I found out when I calculated my carbon footprint:
Please look again at that last figure.