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About Saving the Earth ...
It ain't a pretty picture. There are a lot of approaches to sustaining a comfortable life and adjusting to what lies ahead.
Solar Passive GreenhouseWe built a solar passive all-season greenhouse in 2009, and are enjoying fresh veges all year, in Iowa's zone 4-5. See solar passive greenhouse. We've worked out the kinks so that the soil never gets below 42 degrees, even though it may be -15 outside.
What You Can DoOne of the best books that I've come across is The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices: Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists. They have comprehensively reviewed all of the activities that consumers, not industry itself, do that create "normal" and toxic pollution. They identify, the degree of water, soil, and air pollution. This gives the user a great tool to really identify how, "I", as an individual, can help.
Of course, the number one item is, cars, light trucks (including SUVs). The Guide says:
"The first mistake to avoid is buying a car that is bigger or more powerful than you really need. These days light trucks (including [SUVs, vans, and pickups]) are all the rage among affluent consumers. (The fraction of vehicles sold that are light trucks grew from 16.5% in 1980 to 40% in 1996.) The bad news for the environment is that the average new light truck gets only 20.5 miles per gallon, while the average new passenger car gets 28.5. Even more important, both cars and light trucks have gotten much heavier and more powerful in the last decade. If it weren't for this trend, fuel consumption by personal cars and trucks would be 15% lower than it is today."To briefly summarize, we travel a lot because driving is affordable, satisfying and convenient and communities are spread out. They recommend that you learn how to travel light, including thinking twice before you purchase another car. If you are buying a car, make sure it is the right size for your everyday needs and is the most fuel efficient and least polluting in its class.
"The key is to choose a car that meets your regular or typical needs, not your extraordinary needs. Television ads notwithstanding, most of those who own four-wheel-drive all-terrain vehicles rarely drive through blinding rainstorms on muddy hillsides."If you are interested in current information, take a look at The Union's website: www.ucsusa.org.
Other useful resourcesPerlandra - Machaelle Small Wright For those of you who have read, Behaving As If the God in All Life Mattered, the website provides a reference source for the art of co-creative gardening. Highly recommended!
Transcendental Meditation This is an excellent program for growth of consciousness, physical health, and mental well being.
Natural Resource Defense Fund No explanation needed.
The Nature Conservancy Ditto.
Genetic-ID Development of GMO crops is destroying our native species and developing super-bugs. The excuse that these foods are going to save the world isn't true. What these foods will do is to make developing nations dependent upon mega-corporations.
Grow Biointensive This is the organization that is making a difference, not only for US organic farmers, but for developing nations. Self-sustainable mini-farming. Excellent data here.
Tom Brown Tracker School Survival and growth of consciousness courses; thought provoking and good resource books.
Grow Intensive and John Jeavons -- and his famous book which is the bible of many serious gardeners, "How to Grow More Vegetables: Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine", is an excellent resource.
The Oil Drum Excellent blog/commentary/ ongoing discussion on peak oil and post peak oil and all that entails.