Friday, April 20, 2007

Reality? We're soaking in it!

Hearing a lecture by Elizabeth Kolbert at UCSB last night was less relevation than reinforcement. Climate change is real, scary, and generally worse than we can imagine. Like starlight, the weather is we experience today isn't created today--it's been in the pipeline for years. So I guess we're getting better weather than we deserve right now. Future generations will be dealing with the consequences of our actions. There is a point of no return, where the environment will begin a death spiral, at least as far as humans are concerned. We may be too late already, but there may be still opportunities to avoid catastrophe. Only hindsight will show where exactly it was. Our best hope is change NOW: real, immediate, individual now, not ten years in the future bureaucratic, political now.

There are lots of individual choices to be made. What we eat, what we buy, and how we drive are all opportunities to make a difference. I've been making an effort to drive less, and thinking in terms of a having at least one formal car-free day each week. I like Car Free Friday because I like alliteration. Plus, Friday is Happy Hour, and being car-free means I can be beer-full!

Fridays are also easier since I don't drive Princess Whackamole to school. Getting her to school has been the biggest challenge for me in going car-free. Safe routes to school are a Big Topic in Santa Barbara right now, especially since the tragic death of Jake Boysel. Jake was killed while riding his bike to school, despite being in a marked bike lane. I've written before about the chaos that is the high school drive. Even with the new stop sign, it's a zoo, or like a zoo would be if lemurs could drive. If there's anything scarier than driving near the school, it's biking or walking there. The closest bus stop is almost two miles from the ranch, so that's not a great option either. But I digress.

Yesterday was Thursday. I drove Princess Whackamole to school and myself to work. Drove home from work. Walked to the Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic read-a-thon, then we rode our bikes to hear Elizabeth Kolbert's lecture. I left feeling committed to my first Car Free Friday. We rode to the store before going back to the ranch. By the time we were riding home, it was almost 11 p.m. Almost Car Free Friday!

Then the rain came. And with it, snow on the hills, umbrellas, car keys, and a vision of Car Free Saturday. Or Sunday.

The best laid plans...


George said...

Yes, we have to change our ways at once, but it's hard when all you have stuck in your head is a fleet of cars with lemurs behind the wheel.

Trekking Left said...

Nice post! I think the entire nation needs a car free day.