What a week we have shaping up: not only is there a lot due for our academics, we’re going on a two day field trip come mid-week. We’re going to visit a turf house and for the time we’re there live like the Vikings did. Looking forward to the cultural enrichment, though I’ll probably be able to do without the rotten meat, if served.
This week that just passed proved notable in its own rite by giving us a richer peek at the geological treasures of the land. We not only visited areas where they are trying to reforest (Iceland is home to some of the worst soil erosion on Earth), we also got a chance to visit one of the country’s most popular geysers:
As if that wouldn’t be enough we also got a chance to see some of the most beautiful waterfalls and rolling landscapes I’ve ever seen (just look at the color of that water!):
Being away from home for so long is starting to wear on me a bit though – homesick is the word that comes to mind. Going to the forest was a lovely dose of medicine for this as many of the trees shielding us from the day’s fierce winds seemed much similar to the ones I have in my backyard at home.
Luckily, the schedule here is busy enough that I don’t get too much time to long for home, though when I do it definitely stings.
I do get enough time, however, to ponder neurotically if what I’m doing with this blog is effective. To get a better perspective on this I emailed a close friend and mentor earlier this week to ask how she thought I could be more effective with what I’m doing. Since Adaptive Earth is meant to not only share my experience in visiting a foreign land, but to also try to bring something worthwhile into the climate change discussion, I wrote to her with worry. Thus far I’ve been making suggestions for smaller, individual actions – truth be told, however, what we need here is more than changing light bulbs – we need a system change.
She tried to quell my worry by reminding me that one person can make a difference, much like Rachel Carson (author of Silent Spring – the book responsible for the halting of DDT use in the U.S.), or Gandhi, or Martin Luther King, Jr.
My dad reminded me of this too when he told me that because of the results he got from the ecological footprint test I posted in an earlier blog he decided to stop a decade’s old habit of taking midnight cruises in his car as well as quitting his use of paper plates at work. Of course, I don’t mean to suggest by this that I’m in anywhere near the same league as the heroes I just mentioned, but I do think it’s evidence that even when you don’t think or know you’re making a difference, sometimes you are.
With that spirit in mind, and with the thought of the week being, “System Change Not Climate Change,” I’d like to leave off by asking you to do a very simple task for our planet today:
Please click here, and in the time it takes to fill out your name and address use your voice to say no to the Keystone XL pipeline, the likes of which has been described by America’s leading climate scientist, Dr. James Hansen as a carbon bomb that if approved will mean “game over” for our climate.
You won’t be the first to use your voice for this if you do – up until now activists across the country and in Canada have kept this project from being approved – I dare you (double, triple, quadruple dog) to become a climate hero by joining their ranks and clicking the link!
The future will thank you (as will my children).
Until next time, stay green and smile BIG, folks!