Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pioneer Single Mom?

This statue was erected in Ponca City Oklahoma by the oil baron Mr. Marland in 1929 to honor the Pioneer Woman. As my 9 year old son leaned against it all kinds of thoughts flooded my mind. What would his life have been like if he grew up in Oklahoma in the 1890s?  Was the Pioneer Woman a single mom? Did her other children die? 

The story of the Pioneer Woman is interesting. Over 40,000 people came to her witness her unveiling and to hear humorist Will Rogers speak. Considering the population of Ponca City in 1929 I can only assume every living being within 50 miles came to this event.

Life before fossil fuels. Hmmmm. They had a lower carbon footprint but only because of limited income I'm sure. Sustainable lifestyles are equated with lack; is there a type of rich, affluent modern lifestyle that is also sustainable? I suppose we'll have to find one, or die trying.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Some Bad News is too Good to keep secret

Weathercocks and signposts: The Environment Movement at a Crossroads is a critical re-examination of the assumptions underlying current approaches to motivating environmentally-friendly behaviour.
Simple and Painless? The limitations of spillover in environmental campaigning presents a critical examination of the evidence that urging people to switch to energy-efficient light bulbs encourages them adopt more ambitious changes.

Both these reports are readable, fascinating, and paralyzing. Download and despair with me!

Speaking as an average American energy glutton, I was able to cut my carbon emissions by about half through good choices, behavior modification, and a lot of insulation. When I think about what is necessary to cut emissions 90% I recoil at what that means for my lifestyle.

In the limbo game it is fun to sing "how low can you go?" But I'm not entirely sure I could sport a bikini and actually shimmy under a blazing limbo pole. And if I can bet I would sell tickets to see that!