My Eco-Confession

It’s time for me to come clean, no, I don’t mean I need a shower or anything like that, at least I think I don’t? No it’s time I confessed my sins, here goes nothing…”I’m an eco-sinner”, there I said it “I’ve been an eco-sinner all of my life.”  And my guess is, so have you.

I’ve always been concerned about environmental issues, but I never really understood the real causes and effects, especially my own impact on the planet.

I don’t know about you, but over the last couple of years I’ve noticed differences in the environment, our biosphere has changed significantly, both in appearance and its composition.  The seasons seem to overlap each other instead of going smoothly from one to the other, the sun is becoming much hotter and deadlier, storms are becoming more frequent and much more deadly and to top it off we are running out of non-renewable resources.

How much of this is due to man’s actions? How much of this is due to mine? Over the last year I decided to find out the answers myself.

Like most people, I watched Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” but I wanted to learn more, so I read, watched and listened to anything remotely related to the environment and the global warming problem, I needed to find the truth, I needed answers, damn it!

“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.”  ~Aldous Huxley

Well in this case the truth did make me mad, really, really mad. Everyone from the scientists to the environmentalists we’re singing the same ol song, and no it wasn’t kumbaya.

We were on the precibus of a crisis like no other in our history… We we’re too many people on too little a planet using up too many finite resources, way too fast. We we’re in Overshoot!

To be precise, we were heating up the planet and it was because of our actions, or to be even more precise our inactions.

How did this happen? Growing up in the 6o’s, 70’s, 80’s we we’re led to believe that consumption and growth we’re a good thing, not bad.  In those decades there we’re between 3 to 4 billion people on the planet, today we are hovering close to 7 billion and growing by 2.6 people per second (that increase includes deaths factored in).

Now I’m not a rocket scientist or will I ever profess to be, but when you have 7 billion people, polluting and consuming, on a planet that in reality can only sustain 2 billion, well, as the saying goes “Houston I think we have a problem.”

But what was my own personal contribution to the problem? Here’s what I discovered in my quest.

  1. I produce 726 kilograms of garbage a year, most of it being plastic, which goes straight to the HRM landfill and will never decompose, at least not for a bazillion year’s or so.
  2. I use 466 liters of clean drinkable water a day, for other than drinking (showering, shaving, brushing my teeth, flushing the toilet, washing the dojang floor).
  3. Just Driving from my home to the dojang and around town in my Jeep (10,000 km per year), puts over 3,665 kilograms of global warming CO2 into the atmosphere. If I fly from Halifax to Vancouver during the year, that’s and extra 1,000 kg’s. 😦
  4. I eat approximately 30 kg’s of beef in a year, other than CO2 methane from beef production is the other major cause of global warming.

We all realize that there is a problem, but how many of us realize how much of it is caused on a personal level by us, and those around us.

If you think there is nothing you can do about, that’s where you’re wrong. Even though we are the ones who caused the problem, we are the ones who can choose to fix it.

We can start by thinking locally, looking at our personal contribution and doing something about that, you’ll be amazed how differently you’ll look at the biosphere and your role in it, once you realize the rewards and consequences of your actions and inactions.

Individually or collectively we can continue on the same path, that will surely lead us to our demise or we can choose a path that will help us build a sustainable future.

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” – Buddha

What is your path?

By: Master Tim Bell


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