We take green living seriously.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Are They Non-Earthlings Among Us?

Came across this article by Noam Mohr :How Environmentalists are Overlooking Vegetarianism as the Most Effective Tool Against Climate Change in Our Lifetimes. Please find time to read through it. In the meantime, check out the following recommendations from the article:

• Organizations should consider advocating vegetarianism as a major part of their anti-global warming campaigns. At a minimum, environmental advocates should mention vegetarianism in any information about actions individuals can take to address global warming.

• Government policy should encourage vegetarian diets. Possible mechanisms include an environmental tax on meat similar to one already recommended on gasoline, a shift in farm subsidies to encourage plant agriculture over animal agriculture, or an increased emphasis on vegetarian foods in government-run programs like the school lunch program or food stamps.

Singapore's Health Promotion Board recently started a campaign to encourage the public to eat more healthily by recommending a certain portion of vegetables and fruits as part of one's meal. Although the direction was more health-based than environment-based, it helps to some extent at least.

Well, pig farming was phased out since 1987 in Singapore, due to limited land and water resources. Although pollution was also one of the concerns, I feel that wasn't the main motive at all, or was it? Nonetheless, am glad that Singapore had finally ratificated/accepted* the Kyoto Protocol on 12 April 2006.

From many articles that I read, not many countries are always willing to put their economies at risk by promoting environmental-friendly ways of living. Just how unbeneficial can it be to be environmental-friendly? Is it more wise or beneficial to destroy the Earth that one lives in? I find rationalisations against environmentalism rather peculiar. To be fair, maybe they don't know the Earth is not as invincible as they thought it to be. But it becomes unforgivable when much research and recent extreme weather conditions already indicate otherwise. Is the meat industry more profitable than the agricultural industry? But how could it be so when many resources are lost during the process of producing a certain amount of meat a day. (Please read my past post: Meat-eating is Harzardous To The Earth. There's no need to be a mathematician to do simple calculation to see the vast contrasts.

Greed, ignorance or plain denial reached a point beyond logic when the Bush and Blair administration outright ignored the signs and warnings of global warming and decide to continue feeding the Earth with unrationed toxins. America never signed or ratified the Kyoto Protocol, and Blair recently backed nuclear plans. Are they even Earthlings, I wonder.

Here's a list of environment-related articles at the EarthSave website.

*Note: According to Wikipedia, signing of the Kyoto Protocol is optional, indicating intention to ratify. Ratification is the key step for a country to formally accept an international treaty.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

An urgent message, please watch this film.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Daryl Hannah Uprooted & Arrested

Actress of Kill Bill 2 was literally up a tree, trying to prevent loss of urban garden.

It's always sad to see a beautiful and well-taken care of garden to be replaced by some lifeless cold metals. As the CNN reported, "South Central Farm, a community garden* in Los Angeles had about 350 people grew produced and flowers on the 14 acres of privately owned land, in an inner-city area surrounded by warehouses and railroad tracks. The garden has been there for more than a decade, but the landowner, Ralph Horowitz, now wants to replace it with a warehouse." - CNN.com

Daryl Hannah and at least 39 others were arrested and failed to prevent the garden being wiped out. The garden was finally cleared.

Not sure what to say, in fact nothing much to say, but personally I feel preserving nature shouldn't always be compromised or axed off for modernation.

I wish people could be more green-minded than money-minded, especially since there is great imbalance at the moment.

* Community gardens transform empty lots into green, living spaces. They are collaborative projects created by members of the community; residents share in both the maintenance and rewards of the garden. There are an estimated 10,000 community gardens within U.S. cities. - mindspring.com

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Poison Ivy, Poisoned Earth

It's interesting to note that carbon dioxide actually boost Posion Ivy's growth, size and toxicity. Did a little research and found out that while trees and woody plants grow 31% faster in the CO2-rich areas, Poison Ivy grows 149% faster. What's more, forests become at risk because Posion Ivy's vines outgrow and smother trees. While 80% of the world population is allergic to this plant and no specific cure is available, should we not pull up our socks now and do something about the amount of CO2 we are producing before things get out of hand?

Ironically, in the movie "Batman & Robin", Poison Ivy's (played by Uma Thurman) environmental project fund was withdrawn by Wayne Enterprises due to some complications. When she personally went to explain to Bruce Wayne (played by George Clooney) about the situtation and request his further support (although a bit to far-fetch). Bruce Wayne still felt that money would be better spent on people than plants. That stirred hatred from Poison Ivy, leading to a string of mayhem.

While Bruce Wayne may not be wrong by putting people first, but personally, I felt he should have balanced his billion dollar fund well by protecting the environment too. Afterall, humans are the ones who cause the breakdown of environmental balance. Without Mother Earth, there's no people to take care of.

Meat-eating Is Harzardous To The Earth

Not many people know that meat eating contributes to environmental problems.

Issues include:

1) Acres of forests are deforested to make way for grazing and agricultural farms for animals.
2) One-third of the world's agricultural land (two-thirds of United States') is used to feed livestock instead of hungry people.
3) Overgrazing leads to serious soil degeneration resulting in expanding wastelands.
4) Animal faeces and farm wastes are major water and land pollutants which ofteen result in acid rain.
5) All 17 of the world's major fisheries have either reached or exceeded their limits.
6) 1 billion [1 in 5] people lack safe water. Fact: 1 lb of beef uses 5,214 gallons while 1 lb of vegetables uses only 25 gallons.
7) Global warming is also caused by prolific farting and belching of animals which produce much methane.
8) Huge amounts of chemical fertilisers and pesticides are used to enhance plant growth to meet great demands for feeding overwhelming livestock. They deposit poisons on the land, affecting future plant growth, before eventually running into water systems. Fact: Being vegetarian or vegan uses much less pesticides or none at all.
9) 4 billion pounds of pesticide are used in the world each year. There are about 200 chemicals used, 50 suspected of causing cancer and 24 billion tons of agricultural topsoil are washed or blown away each year.
10) According to "Diet for a New America", over a billion people could be fed by the grain and soybeans eaten by U.S. livestock every year.
11) 1 pound of beef needs 16 pounds of grains and soybeans, 2500 gallons of water, and the energy equivalent of 1 gallon of gasoline. To produce one serving of chicken meat, 408 gallons of water are required.

Do these facts set your mind thinking?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Does Being Green Matters?

At times, I wonder whether green-living really matters, as most around me don't seem to bother at all. The idea of "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle" once so noble fell really short. Are we really taking life for granted? Are we really taking this planet for granted? I guess the answer is yes.

The irony is few see the irony of it, missing the reality of interconnection. I vaguely remember a poster I once read at an exhibition, saying we have no idea the SUV we use to drive our asthmatic kids to hospitals is the very reason why kids nowadays are so vulnerable to pollution and such. We don't see how everything we do can link back to us in millions of other intricate ways. If we do see that, we won't be weeping and thumping our chests, asking why terrible things happen.

Being green matters to us and GreenTheme takes green living seriously. We strive to avoid or minimise lifestyles that harm the Earth and its living beings. Before we can convince the big corporations that short-term benefits driven by greed is doing more harm than good to us, we ourselves should practise what matters, regardless how tiny an (in)action might be.

Thus the beginning of this blog.