Saturday, March 29, 2008

thoughts from the airport (revisited)

so i'm cleaning out my draft box and i notice something that i had thought i had published but forgotten.

here are my thoughts (and extensions on those thoughts) from the ICN airport on my way home in february

so, i'm sitting in the airport, for 4ish hours waiting for my flight (i got there early just in case) and i'm considering the size of my carbon footprint. YES, my carbon footprint. and that's how i could tell that this was DEF not the same era that i grew up in. in this first decade of the 21st century, we've totally reached a new level of environmental awareness and started moving towards this whole new "trend" that will apparently eventually become just another way of living (lifestyle, if you will).

i'm thinking to myself, do i really need to go home? do i really NEED to leave/have(?) such a large carbon footprint? granted, my not being on this flight would not have kept it from flying. but regardless, now it's part of MY carbon footprint instead of someone else's that i could just shake my head, wag my finger, and tsktsk at.

it really is a whole new world. i was talking to a fellow ETA who babysat in the midwest and was telling me how the kids she babysat would compare their carbon footprints and see who was having a smaller footprint that week. was it the pope or the bishops who were talking about reducing their carbon footprints for lent? it's seriously a whole new ballgame.

and being carbon footprint conscious is the only acceptable way to be. if you're not, you're just considered a carbon polluting earth hating heathen. you might as well be all those industrial capitalists that upton sinclair and the muckrakers had a field day with.

i was googling images to pair with this entry. and i first searched "footprint" naively/foolishly thinking that carbon footprint was too narrow a search to provide any real hits. then on a whim i searched for "carbon footprint" and was SURPRISED (again, naively) by how many specific carbon footprint hits there were! this is no longer one of those weirdo niche issues. this is pretty much a mainstream latte liberal kinda thing and all of you out there in wisconsin and ohio with your coal mines and log cabins need to pay attention.

hybrids are in. reusable canvas grocery bags are in. bicycling is cool again. (now if only i knew how to ride a bike!). even the sustainability of fashion has been questioned. i read countless articles in the nytimes about different adjustments people are making to their lifestyles to reduce their carbon footprint. (in recent months - building a wind turbine or something in your yard to generate some sustainable energy, the appeal of laundry lines bc dryers are a waste, "green" developments/buildings in NYC, and even that "THIS IS NOT A PLASTIC BAG" craze). we're going to have to accept this or be steamrollered by the vegans out there for hating the earth.

but how futile (or not) is this if the US government still has yet to notice? until the fed govt makes a move on this, "green-ness" is not going to have the impact it needs to. altho some individual states are making progress (california and some new car thing?) it needs the fed govts push. or is it the LACK of federal support that's making this movement so powerful and the emotions so strong? because as long as the fed govt doesn't care, it's a REAL AUTHENTIC PERSONAL issue to champion. and once the fed govt starts mandating efficiency from our appliances and fuel regulation and decreased dependency on oil, it's no longer caring about the environment and being conscientious but more about following rules? which is so not what this is supposed to be about. it's supposed to be about feelings and passion and an emotional connection to the environment.

hmm, maybe the best thing for the feds really IS to ignore the whole thing and consumers alone will be able to drive manufacturers to produce more "green" products in environmentally safe ways all the while deceasing the size of their carbon footprints.

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