Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Global Warming Wednesday: Strength in numbers

Before BlogHer, the wonderful women over at Mommy Blogs Toronto put out a call to Canadian bloggers to nominate an issue for BlogHers Act Canada, a complement to BlogHers Act. They polled their readers (and as many others as they could reach by word of mouth) to determine what issue should be the focus of cooperative action for the next year. The winning topic: the Environment.

Now I have to admit that I'd been fairly quiet in the original call to action. I did not pick a specific issue or write a post when the initial call went out, mostly because I couldn't quite decide how I fit into the "Canada" part of this. I'm in Canada, but not actually Canadian, and Trillian and I now have a timeline for leaving Canada, so I won't be here for the full year of action.

Nonetheless, I participated in the survey that was created after a number of women had written impassioned and persuasive posts on a range of issues. All of them seemed (and still seem) important and urgent. But, yes, I did go with 'Environment' as my top choice.

I am already encouraged by the MBT approach to this issue. The first post-announcement piece talks about the need for focus, for defining the goals of those who want to help out, something that's quite necessary if this will be more than a lot of exhortation and platitudes without much action. Sandra gives some suggestions/asks for feedback:

We all need to hear your thoughts on what that actionable direction should be...

Is it getting Canada to commit to Kyoto?
Is it seeing legislation passed to eliminate plastic shopping bags?
Is it pesticides?
Is it educating children about living green?
Is it protecting our vast natural resources?
Is it pollution?
Is it packaging?
Is it over consumption?
Is it eating locally?
Is it green power?
Is it any one of the thousands of other possible areas that need our attention?

My initial answer is "Yes."

OK, that's not very helpful. And I don't feel like it's my position to push for any particular direction since the most I'll be able to do once I'm settled back in the US is throw my voice into the mix from afar.

But if I were going to weigh in a little (and I obviously am), I think that it might make sense to take a two-pronged approach. It's obvious to me that climate change is not something we can leave entirely in the hands of the government and that we need individuals to take the initiative with the hopes that governments will follow suit.

With this in mind, the first piece is getting people to make a personal committment to making changes towards more sustainable living. This won't be any one action across the board, but requires people to do an audit of their lives and figure out what they can realistically accomplish. Perhaps that means presenting, every week or two, one small change that people can make that would have a positive impact on the environment. Participants could then pick which ones they would be willing to work on. Not exactly original (cough, cough, kind of what I'm doing with this series, an idea I didn't exactly dream up on my own either), but a way for people to make a difference in their lives.

The second piece is picking a larger issue, one which should be addressed by the government, and putting together a grass-roots campaign to get the legislature or enforcement or basic consideration that is currently missing. And since this is BlogHers Act Canada, this one could definitely be geared to Canadian specifics. I'm drawn to "protecting our [i.e., Canadian] vast natural resources" for this, but that's just my gut and I don't have an exact goal in mind.

I encourage all of my Canadian readers to head over to the above links. Weigh in, get involved. And to my stateside readers, go ahead and weigh in too. Or at least follow along and see if anything comes up that's applicable in the US. Which, given that we're all on the same planet, will probably be a decent amount. Even when I head back south, I'll definitely be reading along. And occasionally throwing my voice into the mix from afar.


metro mama said...

Love this approach. Thanks for writing this.

Her Bad Mother said...

I am *totally* with you on the two-pronged approach. We have get personal *and* political. And I hadn't thought of the protecting natural resources thing, but that's a *very* good start...

crazymumma said...

you are wise indeed.

Mouse...I cannot read the posts about medical stuff. I will honestly faint on my keyboard. I scanned it but started getting dizzy and queasy. I am so sorry so what I am trying to say here is I do not know what has happened.

Loser am I because of a medical phobia.

In any case, I really really hope you are ok.

Lisa b said...

I agree absolutley.
I was feeling conflicted about the issue chosen as I could not see how just focussing on government action was enough.
Your wednesday columns always inspire me to try a little harder. I think you have a new job at MBT.

Simply Hollie said...

two prongs are better then one any day! I love your thinking!