Monday, April 21, 2008


Michael Pollan - Salon Photo
Michael Pollan graphic from Salon.

"Why Bother" is the title of a brilliant article that appeared yesterday in the NY Times Magazine. In it Michael Pollan asked why, -- if half of the world is standing in line wanting to experience the American habits of material consumption [it used to be called the "American Standard of Living"] -- why on earth, should Americans bother trying to reduce their carbon footprint? He actually offers some very good reasons. I urge you to consider what he says. Read the article.

Meanwhile I am very pleased to report that Brazil is now the leader in public opinion considering global warming as a "very serious problem."

Concern about Global Warming

You may wonder why I am pleased? It is because Brazil is both a natural resource giant and a rapidly developing economy. The United States did not have much of an ecological consciousness as it bulldozed its development path through the destruction of 90% of its original forests. But Brazil, with 80% of its vast forests (an area the size of Western Europe) and a treasure trove of natural beauties still in a pristine state has an opportunity to choose more ecologically aware strategies. The already developed world can best "make up" for its own highly destructive ways of the past by supporting Brazil in its efforts to find better ways now.

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