Swings and Roundabouts: World Blog Action Day

Like zillions of other bloggers, apparently, I am exercising my mind on Blog Action Day. How can I make a difference in my niche area? Now this is a challenge.

Will putting my class notes online, and not distributing via paper do the trick, or will my students go and crank them out anyway? Will teaching them how to blog and communicate about this issue as good world citizens assist in minimising power guzzling or increase it? Is my own use of electrical technologies on the increase? Yes, I suspect so. My electricity bill shows all the signs.

On the personal front, I already harvest rainwater in a couple of tanks; Australia is in the grip of a dreadful drought, and we’re being forced at long last to treat this most precious resource with respect. I burn wood in winter for warmth, and my home is passively air-conditioned to take advantage of summer breezes. However, with increased temperatures, air-conditioning in the summer is a must. It’s the swings and roundabouts effect. You have to make up on the roundabout for what you do on the swings … or something. I’m mixing metaphors here, but it seems to me that the challenge is to keep ahead on the roundabout so that the bottom line of the ledger is in the black.

I was in London last summer during the concerts for global warming and recall the howls of outrage about the irony inherent in some groups’ jetting in, adding to the problem rather than minimising it. Is buying carbon credits the answer? It feels to me like that discredited medieval practice of buying indulgences for your sins. Better to take stock, take responsibility, and take action.

In an attempt to keep the bottom line black, I’m going to do a few things like this from now on:

Join the global blog swell (is there one? there could be) to persuade Al Gore to exercise his political muscle on these matters even more. Darn, the big guy could even make Hillary sweat a bit!
Learn more about this carbon credit stuff so I don’t whitter on in ignorance.
There’s something buzzing around in my head which won’t sit still long enough to ponder … but something about too much browsing … or is this about personal energy efficiency?
If conversations are what blogging is about, then this is probably a bit obvious, but I’ll try to be a bit more proactive in writing about this stuff. This is what today’s effort is about. Getting the conversation out there, taking responsibility, and keeping the bottom line in black.

On the personal front, my checklist:

Get a solar hot water system installed. My old one has sinister rust patches on its top that I daren’t prod too hard.
I read somewhere recently that just turning off all but necessary lights in the house, as well as the stand-by on other appliances, could make a huge difference. I’m doing this.
Change over from regular to those squiggly, energy-efficient lightbulbs.
Drink tap water instead of bottled. Think about it.
I wish I could ride to work on my bike. I really do. But it is too dangerous, and I live half way down a very steep mountainside.





2 responses to “Swings and Roundabouts: World Blog Action Day”

  1. eredux Avatar

    Check out this US Carbon Footprint Map, an interactive United States Carbon Footprint Map, illustrating Greenest States to Cities. This site has all sorts of stats on individual State & City energy consumptions, demographics and much more down to your local US City level…


  2. Laura Whitehead Avatar
    Laura Whitehead

    Hi Kate – great to hear your steps to make things better! Originally I was going to do a post on green technologies, and thought nah! Be indulgent on my post and most about my environment as well!

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