Some Midwest states are highlighted in a new report that looks at what states are doing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chuck Quirmbach reports:
Some Midwest states are highlighted in a new report
that looks at what states are doing to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chuck Quirmbach
The federal government wants no part of international
treaties aimed at reducing pollution linked to global
warming. But a report by the Pew Center On Global Climate
Change says about one-third of the states have taken significant
steps on their own. The study mentions Minnesota’s effort to
plant trees that may help reduce energy consumption and absorb
carbon. Wisconsin is praised for requiring large polluters to
report their carbon dioxide emissions.
University of Michigan professor Barry Rabe offered the study. He
says the budget deficits faced by many states may stifle additional work.
“And there may be an unfortunate irony here that at the
moment when political interest in doing something to
reduce greenhouse gases is greatest, the fiscal capacity to
fund some of these programs and implement them may be at a very,
very low point.”
The Pew Center says the state efforts are no substitute for a
comprehensive national plan. For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium,
this is Chuck Quirmbach reporting.
It’s not uncommon to hear reports of stock prices, inflation, and GNP numbers with most news broadcasts these days. As Great Lakes Radio Consortium commentator Terry Link argues, maybe it’s time for the media to give similar regular reports of environmental indicators to increase our mindfulness of our environmental health:
It is not an infrequent occurrence to hear reports of stock prices, inflation, and GNP numbers with most news broadcasts these days. As Great Lakes Radio Consortium commentator Terry Link argues, maybe it’s time for the media to give similar regular reports of environmental indicators to increase our mindfulness of our environmental health.
There’s an old adage that you are what you measure. So by that standard, how do we appear? Look at what the media tell us…
“The Dow Jones tumbled 170 points on heavy trading of more than 1 billion shares.” “Consumer confidence is lagging, dropping 0.2 percent from last month’s figure.”
“Wholesale prices rose 2.3 percent for the month, hinting that demand for products may once again signal a rebound in the economy.”
You get the picture.”
Given the standard then that you are what you measure, it should be no surprise that we have become simply homo economus.
By constantly trying to measure wealth by GNP and stock prices, we idolize consumption while we devalue much of what gives life its true meaning; namely our connections to each other and with the marvelous and mysterious spinning sphere that provides us with life.
So I believe it’s way past time to give us equivalent daily reports on the health of our biosphere.
Why not report on the spread or decline of disease in humans, animals and plants? Or give regular updates on receding glaciers, severity of storms. Or increased rider ship on mass transit and its affect on reducing pollution? A daily report might sound like this:
“Energy consumption was up briskly in June. But on a bright note the percentage of power generated from renewable resources climbed 25% faster than the overall increase. This has resulted in an overall drop in greenhouse gas emissions despite the rise in overall consumption”
How about we start reporting not only agricultural production but also the inputs –Michigan saw its consumption of lettuce produced locally climb by 19% from last year, as local growers were more effective in marketing locally grown food. This boost in the state economy is welcomed. The diminished transportation need of locally produced food has other advantages for state residents. The reduction of air pollution, traffic congestion, and noise with a simultaneous increase in the freshness of produce is even a bigger benefit for consumers
We must understand that the condition of our air, land and water is more important than fluctuations in our stock portfolios. Making environmental information more prominent and regularly available as we do with stock prices and business reports is a step toward crucial mindfulness.
We might even copy a Wall Street/business reporting model and highlight a socially and environmentally responsible firm or organization that is developing products, services, or processes that help build more sustainable communities.
We need all the hope we can find. We need to nourish the entrepreneurial spirit towards community solutions. And we need the mass media to give more of its news hole to report daily on the indicators of total community health, not simply the financial numbers. We ignore our environment at the peril of our children and grandchildren. By offering regular daily doses of the health of our planet, the media will be a more responsible partner in its recovery. By making visible more measures of what we value we just may nurture a transformation to a more sustainable society.
Environmentally friendly electric trucks can be spotted driving
around in some Midwestern cities. On college campuses, including the
University of Michigan, electric pickup trucks are used in campus
courtyards, botanical gardens and other places where noise or exhaust
a problem. The next place you’re likely to see electric trucks will be
your local zoo. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Tamar Charney has
It’s no longer that unusual for builders to incorporate elements of
“green” design into their projects. Often, the buildings are new
construction. But it’s much more challenging to renovate an existing
structure. Now, some colleges and universities are leading the movement
toward green renovation. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Wendy