So it's 5:15 in the morning and, thanks to this storm, I've been up all night struggling to stop a rising watertable from flooding my basement. As you can imagine, I'm less than completely inclined to say nice things about nature right now. In fact I feel like Montgomery Burns, when Principal Skinner encouraged him to recycle: "Oh, so Mother Nature needs a favor? Well, maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys. Nature started the fight for survival and she wants to quit because she's losing? Well, I say hard cheese!"
But after spending most of big part of my Saturday morning at the Lower Bucks County Center for Church and Community's Step It Up expo devoted to avoiding the horrible consequences of global warming, I'm feeling urgently charitable toward the planet, so here goes.
The event was held in Pavilion 11 at Core Creek Park in Langhorne. Although there were tables for baked goods and fresh fruit and politicians at every level of government were scheduled to make the rounds, (Congressman Murphy headlined) the atmosphere was more science fair than county fair. Tables set with tri-fold display boards lined the pavilion. There was even a solar oven made out of a cardboard box and aluminum foil that looked exactly like the one I made with my best friend in eighth grade. And like a science fair, it was an event designed to teach.
The Sierra Club was there to talk about using fluorescent bulbs and the promise of sustainable development and their Cool Cities initiative, which Doylestown Boro and Lower Makefield Township are exploring. The Bucks County Board of Commissioners sent a representative to let people know how to get rid of their hazardous household waste (pdf). The Bucks County Foodshed Alliance was there to promote local and sustainable produce by announcing the opening of the Middletown Grange Farmers Market, which will happen May 26. Of course there were several churches there to share their choirs, sell baked goods, promote faith-based ecology programs and otherwise celebrate the drive to protect Earth.
You can click on the links above to read about those various plans. I'm going end here by listing two sets of steps you can take right now to make the effects of global warming less dangerous to yourself and the world. The first was from a pledge that was posted in the middle of the expo. By signing it you agreed to:
1. Reduce thermostat settings by 2 degrees in the winter and increase them 2 degrees in the summer.
2. Reduce driving speed by 3 mph at speeds over 60 miles per hour.
3. Replace 3 frequently used light bulbs with compact fluourescent bulbs.
Those couldn't be easier.
The second list comes from Congressman Murphy, who came armed with an equally do-able list of things constituents can do to drive solutions to global warming forward:
1. Learn more about global warming - join the movement to stall it;
2. Write letters to the editors about global warming and what we can do to move toward a sustainable life style;
3. Talk to your friends and neighbors about the crisis;
4. Get other Congress members to sign on to the Safe Climate Act, which Rep. Murphy has already co-sponsored;
5. Do what you can to lead by example.