Thursday, May 8, 2008

Why Bother? -- Michael Pollan Article

We love Michael Pollan at the RFC, and his book The Omnivore's Dilemma was one of the motivating forces in my decision to start eating local and organic. Pollan came out recently with an article discussing climate change. Thanks to the Tricycle Gardens blog for the tip-off on this article:

Why bother? That really is the big question facing us as individuals hoping to do something about climate change, and it's not an easy one to answer. I don't know about you, but for me the most upsetting moment in "An Inconvenient Truth" came long after Al Gore scared the hell out of me, constructing an utterly convincing case that the very survival of life on earth as we know it is threatened by climate change. No, the really dark moment came during the closing credits, when we are asked to . . . change our light bulbs. That's when it got really depressing. The immense disproportion between the magnitude of the problem Gore had described and the puniness of what he was asking us to do about it was enough to sink your heart.

You can read the full article here.

Later on in the piece, Pollan notes,

But the act I want to talk about is growing some--even just a little--of your own food. Rip out your lawn, if you have one, and if you don't--if you live in a high-rise, or have a yard shrouded in shade--look into getting a plot in a community garden. Measured against the Problem We Face, planting a garden sounds pretty benign, I know, but in fact it's one of the most powerful things an individual can do--to reduce your carbon footprint, sure, but more important, to reduce your sense of dependence and dividedness: to change the cheap-energy mind.

This makes me feel great about the garden I just planted yesterday.

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