It’s Blog Action Day And I Don’t Know What To Write

By Mike Maddaloni on Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 04:00 AM with 4 comments

Blog Action Day logoToday, October 15 is Blog Action Day. According to their Web site, “Blog Action Day is an annual event that unites the world's bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion.” I have written posts in the past on the topic of the environment and poverty. This year the topic is climate change, and when I sat back to think about this, all that swirled through my head was a lot of questions.

As I write this, it is about 20 degrees cooler than it normally is at this time of the year in Chicago. But when the meteorologists get into the details, there have been extremes in temperatures over the years. In the meantime, glaciers are melting. Not all of them, as I hear the one on Iceland is actually getting bigger. There are all kinds of opinion both ways on climate change, including from scientists. Though my degree is in business and not in science, but as I consider myself a relatively aware individual, I don’t know how to take such conflicting reports.

Recently on a trip through Wisconsin I saw more conflicting signs what could be impacting climate change. First there were the smokestacks billowing from mills and factories. As much of a scientist I am not, I know in general that is not good. Then there’s a wind turbine farm I went by where none of the turbines were spinning. I don’t know why that was the case, but I have seen them in motion before. I have heard cases where the power grids can’t handle the power being generated by the turbines. Oops. Someone didn’t do their homework.

Take carbon offsets, or as they’re being referred today in the US as cap and trade. This concept doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. If you want to keep producing the same amount of emissions, you can buy the right to do so from people who don’t produce the emissions. So not only do you have to pay to change how you do business (or generate power) now you have to pay extra in the interim. To me this is like paying someone else to exercise or lose weight for me as I try to do it myself! Why not just spend the money on a health club and healthier food? The incentive, in my opinion, is lost to improve the environment if carbon offsets can be purchased.

So here I am, watching the cursor blinking on my screen wondering what to write next. Don’t get me wrong, I do my damnest to conserve and protect the environment – a search on the word “environment” on The Hot Iron will give you many examples. And in most of these cases, there were financial incentives from my conservation efforts. Everything from buying a duplexing laser printer for the little I have to print to buying Adobe Acrobat to go as paperless as I can, these are but a few of the steps I take in the normal course of my personal and business life.

As the goal is to “trigger a global discussion” I believe I have contributed something to this – questions. And I’m sure I am not alone! It has always seemed like environmental causes have been out in the fringe of normal, everyday activities. Maybe they need to go mainstream as well, and people will think about them more everyday? Then we’d have to come with something else to write about on the next Blog Action Day.


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