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Doing It for the Children
I'm going to get a little political in my post today. That's always a dicey thing to do, but I'm all worked up.

You see, I have always felt a call to help those in Africa and Asia, especially orphans. My family has been to the Mulli Children's Home in Kenya twice now, and we're heading back in March. We had a huge craft sale at my home this weekend to benefit them. And right now, in Eastern Kenya, there is a huge drought. Imagine not having water to drink. Imagine not being able to wash. Imagine all your crops dying. It really is heartbreaking.

I say all this to point out that there are real problems in the world today. And yet the cost of giving clean water to everyone on the planet has been estimated at $10 billion. Just $10 billion to severely stop the parasite crisis, aid in malnutrition, and help children grow. Sure $10 billion is a lot of money, but keep that figure in mind as I move on.

That is a genuine crisis, where people are dying now. There is no doubt about it. And there are solutions available.

Nevertheless, the world, and the governments, in their wisdom, have decided instead that we should pour hundreds of billions of dollars into carbon trading schemes to address global warming, which may or may not be happening. Oh, sure, the science is supposed to be settled, but I don't know if you've heard about the leak from the Climate Research Unit in England yet. Turns out that about two weeks ago all kinds of emails and documents were put online anonymously that show that the researchers who created the hockey graph, and who wrote the UN IPCC reports, weren't really scientists. They were fudging graphs, silencing critics, and in general making stuff up. Now word comes out that they've actually lost the data that the whole global warming thing rested on. They have all their reports, but the raw data was thrown away, so no other scientist can check their work. If you go to one of my favourite blogs, Small Dead Animals, and follow her links at the top, you can read all about this.

Here's the thing. I actually believe in saving the environment. I think air quality is a concern. I compost. I used cloth diapers. But wrecking our economy, and taking the Third World economy down with it, is not something I believe in. They claim they're "doing it for the children", and they're just worried about the future, but if they really care about the children, then they would help the ones who need it now. Let's fix the true crises now, while we continue the science looking into climate. If scientists were really allowed to debate, instead of being silenced all the time, maybe we'd get somewhere.

Anyway, with all the news out lately about the climate scandal, it reminded me again of this column I wrote a while ago. I really like this one, and I got some great feedback on it. For those of you who may not know, David Suzuki, whom I refer to, is a Canadian similar to Al Gore, except Suzuki does have a university degree in some science or other. Here you go:

I was green before green was hip. In the mid 1990s I used cloth diapers on my babies. I have always used both sides of 8 ½ by 11 paper before recycling it, so I’m one of the few who actually likes junk mail. Free paper! In my old house five composters were biodegrading all at one time, which is probably driving the new owners nuts. I love my clothesline. I have always loved hunting through thrift stores. I saved empty milk bags to use as freezer bags. And I take my bicycle, complete with the child trailer behind, to the grocery store. It’s too small for my kids, but it will do when I just need to pick up a few things.

I did all these things before David Suzuki started lecturing us about them. But I didn’t do these things just for the environment. I did them because I’m cheap. The environmental benefits were just a nice added bonus.

I think everybody should be into the environment because then everybody wins: those who live near landfills; those who love the wilderness; those who want to breathe clean air; and those who are trying to make ends meet.

Yet while I like being green, I’m not a green fanatic. I can’t get too excited about global warming when the earth hasn’t actually warmed since 1998. Personally, I’m much more concerned with the fact that we might all jump on the global warming bandwagon so much that we’ll wreck our economy in the process, and thus relegate the Third World to permanent abject poverty. And with the current rush to biofuels inflating food prices, many are already hovering on the brink of starvation.

The Suzukis of the world tell us we have to sacrifice now because so many will die later, but many are dying now because of what he advocates. Aren’t their lives worth something? And whether or not he cares to admit it, there isn’t a scientific consensus about global warming and its causes.

But the other reason I’m not a green fanatic is because so many who are green fanatics are hypocritical. I am sick of seeing rich actors and actresses jet all over the world and then preach to us about how they are saving the world by buying carbon offsets, unlike the rest of us plebes. Do you know whose carbon footprint is really small? My mother-in-law’s. She doesn’t drive. She doesn’t jump on a jet on a whim. She doesn’t buy junk, and she’s even getting over her Santa habit at Christmastime. She lives in a regular sized house and tries to keep her energy bill low. She doesn’t have a hot tub, or a sauna, or a home theatre. She’s not constantly buying bottled water; she drinks what’s in her tap. And she recycles and composts and gardens galore.

Al Gore, on the other hand, travels galore. He flew to Bali, with all the other global warming gurus, to talk about how we are wrecking the planet by our carbon emissions. The world’s media went to Bali, too, bringing the grand total to 10,000 people, and leaving a carbon footprint equal to that of a city of about 3,000,000 people in one day.

If the world is honestly in dire straits, why does Al Gore still have a twenty room mansion? Why did David Suzuki travel across the country in a diesel bus, rather than giving Internet seminars? Why did Prince Charles jet to New York to receive a green award from Al Gore? Why do Gore and Suzuki own more than one home? Why don’t they practice what they preach?

Green is now the “in” thing, and the rich are embracing it. But those who are really green aren’t rich. They’re just everyday folks sorting their recyclables, turning their heat down at night to save on energy bills, and camping in the summer rather than flying to Fiji. If these guys want to convince us global warming is enough of a threat that we should wreck our economy and starve the Third World, maybe they should give up the high life and start living the way we do. Then maybe we’d believe them more. Until then, I’d rather fight for the rights of those being preyed upon by higher food prices. That’s an immediate threat that there is no denying.

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At 8:51 AM , Anonymous Robin said…

Well said! I'm right there with you!


At 10:44 AM , Blogger Kim said…

amen sista!


At 2:28 PM , Blogger Kimberly said…

Everytime i see ol' Al, i have to change the channel he raises my blood pressur...the arrogance...of the important people vs. the rest of us irritates me...think how much carbon emissons he would save if he just stayed in his mansion, and shut up...

Oh wait...what about all the money he is making saving the planet...hmmmmm....


At 6:57 PM , Blogger Sam said…

I totally agree with you!


At 8:29 PM , Anonymous Tessa W said…

I just wrote a blog a week ago about Stewardship. I'm trying to change. I would love to say I'm green but I'll have to be satisfied with saying I'm on my way to being green.
And I totally agree that people should practice what they preach. Unfortunatly hipocrisy is a way of life for most people. It's nice to talk a lot and make a big fuss but when it comes to the grunt work they want everyone else to do it.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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