Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's Up To Us Now

Our Governments Have Failed Us.

The Copenhagen Climate Change talks have essentially collapsed. I guess it wasn't a surprise. If our governmental systems had had the ability to deal with this crisis, we would have long ago.

Of course, some national leaders are claiming a (hollow) victory. It was a sad day to see President Obama sounding like Bush Jr. as he announced the Copenhagen results. This was the biggest failure of his life – and he had to stand there and pretend that it somehow was a success.

Hey; we all got together and agreed there is a real problem that we really need to do something about...

We? ...Something?

I guess it all comes down to us. You and me. Our “leaders” have failed us. They couldn't even achieve too little, too late. It is up to us to save the world now.

The big question is; how long will we wait? Climate change has been happening at an accelerating rate for the past 40 years (that we, the public, have known there was a problem). We've allowed our systems to continue to get worse. And we've pretended that our actions don't really matter. But the truth is; our own actions are the most important. And our own inactions are just as important.

Reputable scientists (ones that actually win Nobel prizes) have warned us that the Arctic Ocean has a 75% chance of being completely melted during the Summer within five to seven years! That's not only unprecedented, it was unbelievable just a few years ago. A BILLION people are at risk of losing their fresh water from streams and rivers from mountain glaciers - that are melting. The unthinkable is happening! …on our watch.

We can blame Obama. We can blame China. There's plenty of blame to go around.

President Obama threw a monkey wrench in the talks, but the talks weren't going anywhere anyway. I guess we'll all have to wonder whether America's offer was real or grandstanding. I guess we'll all have to wonder whether Obama's advisors set him up or whether there was no genuine intent by America to build a relevant treaty.

Either way, the people of the world have been left with a task that our governments have failed at. Our future is at stake. The lives of our children are at stake. The fate of all life on our planet is at stake. And quite likely, the fate of humanity is at stake.

Extinction should be the common enemy to unite us. But our governments have shown the ugly side of humanity. They would rather fight over the scraps than create a world of abundance.

The people of the world don't have to be like that. And if we are not, maybe we can force our governments to do the right things.

It was rather surprising to me that Hugo Chavez, from Venezuela, was pressing so hard for real teeth in the treaty. He is from an oil producing country. Getting away from fossil fuels wouldn't be all that great for his nation's economy (at least in the short term). But there he was, trying harder than the oil consuming countries to stop climate change.

Ironically, climate scientist James Hansen is pleased the Copenhagen Summit has failed. We can now start off negotiating on a clean slate.

It makes me wonder; just how screwed up is our system, when our addiction to oil is more important than life itself? We've been lied to. We've been manipulated. We've been handed options that we don't like. Its time to take matters into our own hands.

I will be installing solar power on our family's home by Spring.

I will be expanding our garden (so that we will not have to buy as many vegetables from a thousand miles away).

I will will become an environmentalist – because that is what I have become convinced the ultimate survivalist needs to be.

I will become more of an activist – because voting isn't enough in a true democracy (and hardly matters at all in a corporatocracy).

I will continue to write this blog – in hopes of sharing what I have learned.

...And if I can find help; I would like to start an open-source design project for a human-powered hybrid car. The design goal will be to build an ultra-light, ultra-capable, ultra-efficient, and ultra-fun vehicle that would be a cross between a tandem mountain bike, a quad off road vehicle, a electric car, and a boat. Others may wish to design versions that could function as a snowmobile or even a blimp.

I call it the FAVcar – or Flying Aqua Velo car.

Since the design is open-source, people would be able to build it anywhere in the world to satisfy their own particular needs. In third world countries, these human powered hybrids could fill the need to upgrade to a car without nearly the environmental consequences. In cities, the FAVcar could be used for commuting. And here where I live, the FAVcar could replace gas guzzling ATVs.

But I need help to do this. If you are interested in working on the FAVcar design, developing an open-source website, promoting the idea, or making parts for - or assembling these vehicles for sale; please email me at rickspils@excite.com.

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