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Posts Tagged ‘11th hour’

I know I said I am going to buy a bike, and a helmet. I am going to register with Green Dimes. I am going to buy a clothesline, and a composter. I am going to buy natural home cleaning products. I said I am going to do all these things, and I haven’t yet. It’s called procrastination. Waiting until the last minute to do what needs to get done. Last minute? The 11th Hour has become a popular idiom for global warming doom. If I am a procrastinator, and I wait until the last moment to do what I find most unpleasant, the question becomes then, what is the deadline? How does one define the 11th hour? And more importantly, what needs to happen, in order for me to feel that the moment has come? Or will it be already too late to act, when I feel it, finally? No, the real challenge is how to turn the things on the list into a priority? How to get them to the top of my bigger personal to-do list, ahead of shopping, work even, and personal indulgence items?

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The 11th Hour movie is out. Lots of buzz in the press, including a great article in yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle. That’s good, and I also wonder how much more can be accomplished from more great people sharing more great stories, and more images of doom being shown. The article ends on a quote from Leila Conners Peterson, one of the two filmmakers: ‘We live in this kind of bubble of denial, and the consequences are kept from us. I believe when you see the consequences of your behavior, then you adjust your behavior. It’ not about climate change. It’s a human story. It’s about all of us.

While I agree with Conners Peterson, that we live in a bubble of denial, I disagree on her interpretation. Seeing is not believing, and even less so changing behavior. What we are seeing is too removed from our every day experience to make an impression, that is powerful enough to scare us into changing the way we live. That is the biggest part of the problem, in my mind. And I am the first one to attest to it. The link chain between the evidence, and me is just too long. The Arctic is a great metaphor in that respect. What is happening in the Arctic is so far removed from me geographically, that it touches me big time intellectually, but only faintly in my physical core

What I need is a way to experience the problem in a very real way, in my physical surroundings. My hunch is technology may have a role to play there. We are a plugged in society, increasingly relying on the power of the networks. The Web 2.0 revolution may well hold some of the keys to our current predicament, in the same way the industrial revolution got us into it. I am a big believer in the power of technology, bad and good.

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