Thursday, October 15, 2009

Climate Change- Blog Action Day 2009

It's the poor mileage that makes him sad

Today is Blog Action Day, an annual event where thousands of bloggers unite and write about a single, relevant issue. This year's topic is perhaps the most pressing and complicated challenge currently facing our planet- climate change. I loved this quick post by my brother discussing his current country of residence- Indonesia.

While Ronan is still too young to grasp something as complex as climate change, there are many contributory lessons he has started to learn. For example, Ronan actively maintains his own little environment, taking care to keep things tidy and clean. He is starting to grasp the concept of excess and waste, particularly when it comes to food and water; we hope this soon translates into conservation. He knows "off" and has mastered the ability to flip light switches and power down a Prius.

Little hands tinkering with Facebook's electric maintenance vehicle

Ronan liking this little Gem of a vehcile

Ronan's love of the outdoors is innate (this is true for most children); it seems he cherishes his time in nature far more than most adults do. His happiest moments have been on trails, at the beach, or even in our own backyard. He clearly enjoys tending to plants and getting his hands dirty.

Checking the progress of the orange crop

Planting seedling to offset direct methane production

This love extends to other living creatures- a few weeks ago Mom told a story of Ronan's gentle and protective actions towards something as common as a pillbug. As Mom jabbered away as she sometimes does, Ronan shushed her, signed "sleeping" and pointed to the little curled up crustacean. More obvious is Ronan's affection for canines and cats- in fact he'd likely love any animal that returned his affection (or tolerated it enough not to leave).

Exploring the shores of our oceans

Central to how we will have to manage the human consequences of climate change is the notion of fairness- we have been particularly proud to watch Ronan begin to both give and share. A quick application of John Rawl's veil of ignorance concept stresses the importance of morality and ethics when considering those most responsible for and those most affected by climate change.

Sharing food w/a classmate

Sure, Ronan's methane production could use some abatement, and of course he does love heavy machinery, but I'm hopeful that with a lot of knowledge and a little encouragement he will grow into a capable steward of Mother Earth.

Working towards energy (and other forms of) independence

In fact, in observing Ronan's natural tendencies, I often wonder if children have innate qualities pre-programmed to enable them to lead sustainable lives? Perhaps. I suppose it's our duty as parents and friends to cultivate that capacity.


Holly said...

What a great and creative and edifying and enjoyable post. You and Todd take the prize in Blog Action Day relevancy posts.
I have high hopes for the future if most parents will raise their kids with an awareness of the importance of sustainability. That somehow got lost between my parents' generation (Great Depression) and now. The future of our planet truly does depend on a new outlook on how we live. I still love the line in the Episcopal prayer book referring to "this fragile earth, our island home." Good job Bloggers :-)

Todd said...

Most excellent post E. I like how you tied climate change to "fairness".

Rachel said...

Thanks for a super duper post! The BEF blog is awesome but doesn't compare to how you teach by example (e.g. everytime Ronan sees a bike he says, "Dada!"). BTW T, great post too!