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February 13, 2007

One Planet Living, what the U.K. can teach us

If Climate Change has taught us one thing it's that we have to think outside our borders. One country may lead the way and that country just may be the U.K.

He_header Kristin Darguzas, a Canadian whom I met through BlogHer, told me about Turn Up the Heat. It's a book not yet available in the U.S. by George Monbiot. He also has a blog by the same name that takes corporations and individuals to task. George throws the first challenge and ultimate issue with:

"My fear is not that people will stop talking about climate change. My fear is that they will talk us to Kingdom Come."

He has a point. First people become aware, then they change a light bulb and then they begin to feel the enormity of the problem and throw words at it.

George throws words too, at those who are running their solution through the greenwash cycle. His critical thinking made me think. He takes on Richard Branson and his multi-million dollar offer to anyone who can come up with a solution, while his own Virgin Airlines continues to fly. To George, that's greenwash. "Spin does not become a substitute for action." Meanwhile, back in the states, the NY Times shows Branson and Gore together in a climate exchange as Branson offers his $25 million to world of science. I assume he flew to the states on one of his jets.

It makes you think, just what am I willing to personally give up to save the future of the human race? Is that trip to Ireland now off the dream list? Maybe. How much do I cut back and what do I just cut out?

The Stern report, another U.K. initiative from HM Treasury department, projects what will happen if we don't get our climate under control. To start with, storms the size of Katrina will bankrupt insurance companies. Add in the floods and famine and you have the makings of a full economic collapse. That tells me that cutting out, should supersede cutting back.

One_planet_living_logo Keeping both ecological and economic worlds and in balance is the ultimate solution. Again, we can turn to the U.K. for a look at who is leading the way. One Planet Living has joined forces with global thinkers to find the ideas that put us in balance, quickly. They issued 10 guiding principals which START with bringing down CO2 emissions. There's no point in cleaning up the water if the climate above it is killing off the planet.

I like their approach. I like that they bring solutions to the site from every country. While Monbiot is busy holding holding the green torch to corporate toes, this group is championing those who are doing the right thing, right now.

It's inspiring to read what's on their agenda - One Planet Products UK, One Planet Economy, One Million Sustainable Homes... you get the idea. If you are at all interested in forming a global, sustainable society, One Planet Living is well worth bookmarking.


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Mary, I like what you've done with your blog. This post in particular is thought-provoking. I wonder how many of us - male or female - actually pay attention to the health of our planet? Aren't we all in denial? Willing to let the next generation handle it? After all, we won't be here, right? (I'm being facetious - and, a bit obvious because I don't know the answer.)

Yvonne, thanks for the compliment. To answer your question, I think we're all willing to do what's necessary, we just don't know what's necessary yet. For now, I'll do anything that will directly or indirectly bring CO2 down. I want to err on the side of "trying" vs. giving up.

The true is that we do not have give up our dreams (trip to Ireland). We need to change sources of our energy. If we make enough pressure on our governments we might transform to renewable sources much quicker.

Imagine you're flying to Ireland in the plane which runs on hydrogen which is produced from thanks to electicity from wind farms and solar power stations.

Renewable sources are the future and we can make it present.

I agree, pressure on politics will help speed change. However, I believe that market pressure will have a bigger impact. Gore pressured congress decades ago, but it took a movie and a science report to get momemtum from individuals who then put pressure on the market as well as the governments. AND blogs sure help to get the message out there faster and more powerfully than elections. Keep up the good work!

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