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Enviornmental Blog Action Day & Open Discussion

Brian Neudorff @ 5:39 pm October 15th, 2007 · 12 Comments

WX-Man’s Perspective is very happy to join other Erie Bloggers, Outside Erie, eriepressible™, and So anyway… (Where I first heard about Blog Action Day), and over 15,000 other blogs world wide on Blog Action Day to talk about the Environment. Whether you are a die hard environmentalist or have serious questions about man’s role in global warming and climate change we all need to be good stewards to our planet and keep it clean and healthy. It is our home and it needs us as much as we need it.

There is so much information on what we can do to reduce, reuse and recycle. My wife and I recycle, we changed our light bulbs to more energy efficient ones, and do a lot of errands on one trip. Those are just a few and here are a list of sites with some very good tips on how to be environmentally friendly…

Every week I get an email from an organization called Earth Gauge every week focusing on the environment and they give tips that meteorologist, especially those on television, can get viewers active in protecting our family. I think I will take the time each week to post them here… Here is the one I received this week:

Earth Gauge: Don’t Trash Electronics
It is estimated that more than 250 million computers will become obsolete in the next five years, and that mobile phones will be thrown away at a rate of 130 million per year! Computer monitors, TVs, and other electronics that are sent to landfills contain lead, mercury, and other contaminants that can leach into groundwater supplies when it rains or snows, putting our water quality at risk.

Viewer Tip: Before throwing away old computers, televisions, or cell phones, check to see if there are recycling centers in your area. You may also consider donating electronics in working order to charities or others who can reuse them. Visit www.cleanup.org for listings of recycling and donation centers in your community.

Most importantly I think knowledge is really the key. Understanding how our climate works. The difference between weather and climate and how just understanding the climate we currently live in. As a scientist I want to know all the information I can so I can make an informed decision and I have had a Global Warming Blogroll on the left side of my site for some time now, but here are some good blogs dedicated to climate change:

As I was reading some of the Blog Action Day post here in Erie, there was one comment that really caught my attention from Emma at eriepressible™. After providing a list of ideas on how to be more green from the Inconvenient Truth web site she went on to note one of the thing she has been doing to be green.

In addition to those listed above, Al and I do other things to conserve energy and make less of a negative impact on the environment, but the biggest thing we’ve done to help the environment is that we didn’t have any kids.

I will have to say that there is some truth in that. Less people will use less resources. In a paper released in early May of 2007 the Optimum Population Trust stated, “Having large families should be frowned upon as an environmental misdemeanour in the same way as frequent long-haul flights, driving a big car and failing to reuse plastic bags,” and “if couples had two children instead of three they could cut their family’s carbon dioxide output by the equivalent of 620 return flights a year between London and New York.

There was more in the Australian News Network on May 7, 2007 titled, “Children ‘bad for planet’” where they interview the co-chairman of OPT, John Guillebaud:

“The effect on the planet of having one child less is an order of magnitude greater than all these other things we might do, such as switching off lights.

“The greatest thing anyone in Britain could do to help the future of the planet would be to have one less child.”

In his latest comments, the academic says that when couples are planning a family they should be encouraged to think about the environmental consequences.

“The decision to have children should be seen as a very big one and one that should take the environment into account,” he added.

Professor Guillebaud says that, as a general guideline, couples should produce no more than two offspring.

What do you think of this study? Are people like my wife and I, who happen to have three children of our own, bad people despite some of the efforts we take to keep the environment clean? I now open this Blog Action Day post to all those who want to weigh in on Global Warming and Climate change… Thank you for reading.

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12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Matt // Oct 16, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    Brian Neudorff for President!

  • 2 Simon Ross // Oct 16, 2007 at 6:02 pm

    Let’s say irresponsible rather than bad. People who have lots of children are like the early settlers who shot all the bison and carrier pigeons. Or the farmers who created the dustbowl or the ancient romans who turned fertile land in North Africa into the Sahara through overexploitation. They don’t mean to degrade the environment but they do. And their children will pay the price.

  • 3 Brian Neudorff // Oct 16, 2007 at 10:50 pm

    Mr. Ross, I just want to ask what is an appropriate number of children for a couple or a person to have?

    For the sake of this example let’s make it 2, but what happens if a couple, who doesn’t take fertility drugs happens to have multiples. Then what do you do? Are they also irresponsible?

  • 4 Trisha // Oct 17, 2007 at 5:43 pm

    I find it interesting that people who choose to live a child-free life lament that their friends who have children don’t appreciate or respect their decision to stay child-free, yet they, as evidenced by Emma’s comment on her blog and Mr. Ross’ comment here, don’t respect the decisions of those of us who choose to have children. It’s the “do as I say, not as I do” mentality.

    I don’t know for sure that Mr. Ross has chosen a child-free lifestyle. I can only make my assumption based on his comment about the number of children we have being irresponsible.

    What, do you propose, we do? Should we become like communist China and set a 1 child per family limit? If so, what happens to those who bear multiples? Should the “extras” be aborted? And how, then, would this affect adoptions? No doubt there would be more unwanted children waiting to be adopted with no one being able to adopt them.

    What is the magic number for “big” families? Personally, 3 children is not a lot in my opinion.

    While I respect the decisions of people like Emma (and perhaps Mr. Ross) to be child-free, I ask that they respect us in our decision to have children.

  • 5 Ray D. // Oct 27, 2007 at 7:17 am

    Brian and Trisha,

    You should have 5 kids like we do. 2 for yourself, and 3 more to replace the children of childless people like Emma and Michael Mahler. (I have an unmarried brother, a brother who married late, and a gay cousin, so my 3 “extra” kids are covered.)

    There are efficiencies to raising kids in bulk. There is more hand me down clothing, and you cook more from scratch and less prepared food. Being a stay at home mom is also good for the carbon footprint, though no one will tell you that.

  • 6 Trisha // Oct 27, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    Oh, well, then I’m doing more for the environmnt than people think, huh? Thanks for the input, Ray :)

  • 7 Donald // Nov 16, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    We can save a lot of trees by using our own coffee cups instead of using paper coffee cups provided at the coffee shops that are related to melamine poisoning.

    For more information, visit http://www.cupofdeath.com.

  • 8 Emma // Dec 7, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    Sorry I’m late to the party, but someone just pointed me to this entry and the comments.

    Trisha says: “I find it interesting that people who choose to live a child-free life lament that their friends who have children don’t appreciate or respect their decision to stay child-free, yet they, as evidenced by Emma’s comment on her blog and Mr. Ross’ comment here, don’t respect the decisions of those of us who choose to have children. It’s the “do as I say, not as I do” mentality.”

    Could someone please explain to me how stating that my biggest pro-environment accomplishment was to NOT have kids is disrespectful to anyone?

  • 9 Trisha // Dec 7, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    Actually, Emma, that wasn’t the post I was referencing at all.

  • 10 Brian Neudorff // Dec 7, 2007 at 10:41 pm

    Emma, I want to thank you for commenting on my site. I often read your blog now if you read what I posted, that there is some truth in what you are doing and as far as I can see in the body of the original post I didn’t call you disrespectful. I see the point. True, not having children would reduce a demand on resources. But I think there is a feeling among those who chose not to have children and are environmentalist that couples like Trish and I are “selfish.” Now that selfish quote is not from you Emma, it came from a woman named, Toni Vernelli who was interviewed in the London Daily Mail November 21, 2007. “Meet the women who won’t have babies – because they’re not eco friendly” Her quote was, “Having children is selfish. It’s all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet.” I personally disagree with that. We chose to have children just like you chose not to. There is nothing wrong with that.

  • 11 Emma // Dec 7, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    Well, Trisha, I’m not a mind reader. I think it’s certainly reasonable that anyone reading Brian’s original post and your response would believe you were referring what Brian quoted. If you weren’t referring to the comment Brian quoted, how would anyone, including me, know what comment of mine you are talking about?

    Brian – no, you didn’t call me disrespectful. Trisha did. My reasons for being childfree go well beyond environmentalism. One of these days, I’ll finish the explanatory essay I’ve been working on. And I’m sure all the usual suspects will show up to tell me how selfish I am. ;)

  • 12 Ed Seary // Jun 12, 2010 at 2:38 am

    I think this site is excellent; it provides terrific insight into several environmental issues! While I was searching the internet for organizations that deal largely with climate change, one site that I came across, POP-NOW — really stood out to me! The site focuses its efforts at the collegiate level. POP NOW stands for Protect Our Planet – Nonprofit Organization Worldwide. I think it’s great to see organizations like POP NOW take such a strong initiative to make a positive impact on the well-being of the environment. Keep it up the good work!! And to all fellow bloggers, please share some sites / organizations who are working toward similar causes that are noble! I’d love to check them out.

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