72 Hour Kit

A few weeks ago, I finished an essay about Mormons, the left and climate change. I am submitting it for publication, so I can’t go into it all here, but I wanted to delve into a couple main points.

Growing up Mormon, was always taught to be prepared for natural disaster. Sometimes “disaster” meant a tornado or an earthquake. Other times it was obvious what we were really talking about: how to weather the weather that would precede the apocalypse. Either way, it was a mark of shame not to have a brimming 72 hour kit stuffed with food, flashlights and all the hand sanitizer a post-tornado victim could ever want.

But it’s not just the 72 hour kits. Everywhere I turn, I see the same thing: When Mormons think something is important, they give their all to it; when they think something is dangerous or avoidable, they do everything in their power to prepare for or prevent it. We have an entire city square dedicated to producing and packaging food for the hungry and the disaster-struck. We could make a funeral casserole in the thick of a hurricane. Teenage girls and boys spend dozens of hours doing things to improve their communities.

In this same spirit, there was a bucket toilet seat on my parent’s porch last month. The neighborhood emergency preparedness committee had dropped it off after an emergency preparedness guru had put the fear of God in everyone at the most recent meeting. He challenged them to really think about what they would need in the event of a disaster. That’s when they all realized they were toiletless and alone. So they figured it out, and in a few measly days, there were toilets on porches as far as the eye could see.

The weird thing is, most Mormons you talk to are either climate-apathetic or climate change deniers. If you asked them about the connections between the changing climate and the increase in the natural disasters they prepare for so dutifully, you’d probably get shrugs. Most of them don’t know and don’t care. But they are absurdly prepared to weather that weather.

And then there are the people on the so-called left, who believe in climate change with all their hearts. They know what’s coming and how bad it’s going to get. And yet they are absurdly unprepared to stop it. Their strategies are, by and large, tepid and timid. Most do not dare to tell the truth of the matter even to themselves, much less to someone else. And because of this, they are in the strange position of knowing the weather but refusing to report on it. Ironically, they are much less ready to fight what they believe is coming than the Mormons who don’t believe in why it’s happening but are ready anyway.

We who care about the climate, planet, or environment often play the issue vaguely, comforting ourselves that we are doing what it takes. I get that: It’s scary to face the problem and either prepare for or prevent it. The problem is, it doesn’t matter how scary it is if we let that fear keep us from preparing,  keep us from the fight.

So my question is this: what if we who care about the climate thought like emergency-preparedness Mormons? What would a 72 hour kit look like for surviving climate change? And what would it mean to prevent it?

We are good at planning for what we care about. So let’s care about the climate and have an honest conversation.

Let’s ask ourselves only a few questions: How bad is the problem, how much time do we have, and what would it take to solve it? And then add one more: If it’s already bad and getting worse, what do we need just to survive?

I’m asking us to set aside our conventional wisdoms and comforting cliches and think about emergency preparedness like the good Mormons we are. I am asking what is missing from our 72 hour kits, and what we need to do to not need them in the first place.

 

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29 responses to “72 Hour Kit

  1. ajbc July 20, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Great stuff to think about.

    What’s missing? When it comes to the “year supply,” it’d be great if we emphasized growing food and seed saving. Gardening contributes to both individual health and environmental protection.

    Reducing use of paper products also helps on both counts, and it’s easier to store one little cloth than rolls of paper towels. What else? Rain water collection, beekeeping, having chickens, having your own solar panels…There are lots of things that work toward both preparedness and environmental protection.

    I think I’ve noticed a shift in preparedness rhetoric that seems to emphasize things outside of disasters like the need to be prepared for loss of employment or other financial constraints (the most prominent example).

  2. Chandelle July 20, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Ashley, I read your essay several times after you emailed it to me. I read the whole thing aloud to my partner and included an excerpt in a recent post. Thank you for your passion and practicality. I’ll be interested to see how people respond to your questions.

  3. Karmen July 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Good questions, questions I can’t answer right now. I believe in climate change, I also believe in being prepared for as much as possible because there will be plenty that won’t go as “planned.”

    That said, I have a book that is up next for reading, Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth, by Mark Hertsgaard, author of Earth Odyssey. In “Hot” Mark says we are into the climate change/global warming phase and regardless of what we do it will continue getting warmer, thus he writes this book more as a preparation, how will we (mainly our children) deal with the changes in the world. Conditions will require change in attitudes, lifestyle and ways that we deal with the world and peoples in the world.

    I look forward to reading the book and then continuing to think about what I will do. I’ll definitely keep the 72 hour kit in mind as I do so. This needs to be a very real concern.

  4. Kate July 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I think that most Mormons believe that the source of the increasingly erratic weather and natural disasters is NOT due to climate change, but to the 2nd coming. No? The ol’ “great earthquakes…in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.” (Luke 21:11)

    I think the mentality that these things could be signs adds to the inevitability mentality.

  5. Steve July 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Kate —

    The only problem is that there is little, if any, evidence that disasters are increasing.

    Earthquakes? Nope. No increase in severity of frequency. The USGS has been definitive on this.

    Hurricanes? Not really. We’ve had big ones in the past. But, the current numbers seem to vary all over the place and there is non-definitive evidence of a trend towards an increase.

    Tornadoes? Nope. Evidence is clear that the number reported has increased but because of better reporting, not an increase in actual numbers. There is no evidence of any increase in severity.

    Famine? Actually, we have far people starving worldwide than virtually any period in human history.

    Plague? Again, levels of contagious illness are at all-time lows.

    There is an odd tendency in Mormonism to see every disaster as an indication of the big upswing. But, it never comes. And, there is no evidence today that it has begun.

    Perhaps global warming will lead to the big upswing but the evidence is not manifest yet.

  6. Nicole I July 20, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    I read this on RSS feed and bounced over to say what ajbc said – knowing how to grow your own food including seed saving would probably be better than any amount of dehydrated soup in the basement.

    I’d like to see a shift in water requirements. Our ward is currently on this “everyone needs a week’s worth of water” kick. In 55-gal drums. As if in the case of a big earthquake (our most likely natural disaster), anyone is going to be able to access their basement 55-gal drums. I feel much more comfortable with a couple of gallons stashed here and there, a working water catchment system and a little bit of bleach (yes, one of the few good things bleach can do) or a high quality water filter system.

    Finally, I think that a general shift towards cooking with whole foods would probably be helpful. It would help the environment and reduce climate change pressures and, in the case of long term events, probably result in a more realistic and healthy food supply.

  7. Kristine N July 20, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Unfortunately, most of the effects of climate change won’t be felt for a while, which makes motivating people to do something about it difficult. The baby boomers will probably mostly be dead by the time the truly serious consequences show up, and we’re already committed to some of the serious consequences, particularly those related to water. If we stopped emitting carbon dioxide right now, we’re committed to 2 degrees C of warming, which is certainly enough to shift ecological zones northward and probably enough to cause desertification in the Southwestern US, parts of Africa and Asia, and parts of South America. It’ll take several more decades for those impacts to show up, so it’s pretty likely by the time we have “conclusive” proof of climate change, we’ll be in store for even more significant consequences.

    Given the long-term nature of the problem, we’re going to have to find long-term ways to mitigate the changes in climate–things like moving a lot of people and activities from areas that are likely to be flooded or turned to desert and changing the way we build and do agriculture in a lot of areas.

  8. Steve Evans July 21, 2011 at 12:40 am

    “The weird thing is, most Mormons you talk to are either climate-apathetic or climate change deniers. If you asked them about the connections between the changing climate and the increase in the natural disasters they prepare for so dutifully, you’d probably get shrugs. Most of them don’t know and don’t care”

    Ash, I don’t think you’re correct about this. It certainly has not been my experience. What’s your basis for this conclusion?

    As for the emergency kit questions, I don’t think any real changes to the kits themselves are generally necessary. We’re talking about longer-term changes to climate that may result in various ecological/meteorological crises, but it’s unlikely that those individual crises will be fundamentally different in nature from prior disasters (perhaps in scope/location as Kristine notes).

  9. Karmen July 21, 2011 at 6:23 am

    Regarding the conversations about climate with Mormons and Ashley’s premise that most are either apathetic or deniers, I think that depends on the particular pocket of Mormons you are talking to. In two geographical areas that I am familiar with, where I live now and where I grew up, that is a fair statement. In a ward somewhere else, (e,g. northwest, east, U.K.) the attitude and conversation may be very different. Someone should do a geographical study! Any takers?

  10. mfranti July 21, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Steve,

    Thanks for stopping by. It was a highlight of my night/early morning to see your name in the comments.

    Let’s ask ourselves only a few questions: How bad is the problem, how much time do we have, and what would it take to solve it?

    Worse than we think
    Less time than we’ve fooled ourselves into believing (or ignoring)
    Absolute collapse and failure of our current notion of civilization (and a whole lotta death)

    .

  11. mfranti July 21, 2011 at 11:34 am

    pt. 2

    If it’s already bad and getting worse, what do we need just to survive?

    [Edit: I didn’t past this into my comment the first time] A good understanding of how ecological systems work, your (bio)geography (the new one), basic survival skills, wilderness medicine knowledge, a sturdy bike and some spare inner-tubes.

    Oh,and a gun and lots of ammo might be useful. (I’m leaving out a whole boatload of stuff that I can’t get my brain to process at 2 am)

    To survive in warmer world, we have to accept right now that the way of life we are accustomed to is temporary and we should start educating ourselves on what it will take to survive in a world without water,decent soil, and favorable growing conditions. And petrol (yes, I am one of those freaks that believes we’re gonna run out of oil). Everything that makes it possible for us buy cheap food at the supermarket!

    Obviously, we’re limited by our puny vision of the future–which visionaries have failed for centuries to accurately depict.

    I suppose we could start by imagining what it’s like to live AZ or S. Utah without the Colorado or Gila Rivers and no public utility service pumping water through the faucet or into our raised beds.

    But really, deserts wont be hotspots for the future American human in a warmer and warming world. Instead of migrating north (cos you know Canada isn’t gonna let us couch surf), I think many people will take to higher elevations if that’s an option. (every 1000′ in elevation is equivalent to ~500 miles in lat.

    (This is purley sleep deprived nonsense I’m making up here and I might regret it in the morning.)

    By this time the world is a few degrees warmer (and that few could actually be 5-6 degrees in higher latitudes), there will be no more glaciers in the US and possibly Canada, and snowpacks will be limited to deep winter–if snow falls with a reliable frequency in the US’s mountains. Rivers don’t run all summer when there’s no snowpack.

  12. mfranti July 21, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Let’s say we migrate the 45th and take refuge along the border. We might still be able to grow some food crops if drought conditions aren’t so severe. Aren’t we fortunate. (there’s models on the web that will show you what your region will look like with a few degree temperature rise. You’ll find that a lot of species will migrate north, to higher elevations, be out-competed by invasive species and go extinct.) We’ll have to know how to grow food in these new conditions. We can save seed, and I think that’s a great idea, however, many of the cereal crops we grow now might not grow in drier/warmer conditions. The same is true for many of the things we eat. But there’s still the issue of irrigation. Warmer typically means drier.

    Meat will be a luxury because the industrial farms that raise meat and ship it to your local grocery store will probably not exist due to land/water and petrol scarcity. So we will have to know how to raise our own animals and how to process them too.

    Do we really think Canada is going to become the next US in terms of food production? They might be able to grow more food in their prairie states with warmer temps but it’s limited to a specific region and crop modification (s).They may have a lot of lakes and water now, but will it be something they have in a warmer world?
    (Geography can make or break a country. For example, the US is so successful because of our massive grasslands/steppe biome-oh thank you rocky mountains! And our Mississippi river that runs to the ocean, the Mississippi drainage basin and alluvial plain. Remember to T. Jefferson in your prayers tonight)

    Canadians are congenial people, let’s hope they like to share.

  13. mfranti July 21, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    But what about the rest of the world? There’s seven continents and roughly seven billion people on this planet. Some estimates expect another billion in the next 9 years. Most of them live in Asia and rely on snowpacks and glaciers for water.What happens to those billions of people when there’s no more water for them?

    [If you don’t know this you should: The US is the third most populous country in the world after China and India]

    We’ll need to harden up a bit and accept that millions of humans are literally going to starve and dehydrate to death. And millions more will die in wars and as food/water/climate refugees. It’s quite possible we’ll be fighting over water and food, too. So you ought to prepare yourself for that.

    I wont mention sea level rise, acidification of oceans and the effects a warming planet will have on very important insects. I also wont bring up our 100+ million Mexicans neighbors in a warming world and what effects their northward migration will have on us.

    If you’re lucky, you’ll be dead before it gets really bad. Unfortunately, the damage we have done and are doing will become unavoidable and that’s what we are leaving those beautiful children and grandchildren we brought into this world.

    So….write them a letter and say you’re sorry that you failed to stop the idiots from fucking up their world. Tell them that you tried really hard to fix things but you were too puny and powerless against the invisible hand of the market. Teach them what to expect and the ways of nature.

    And take lots of pictures of the beautiful places you visited.

  14. ashsanders July 21, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Okay, I’m back to respond and answer my own question.

    First, I might have accidentally generated some confusion here. I was so stuck in the essay that I was writing–where I developed the concept of the 72 hour kit as a metaphor–that maybe I didn’t stress enough in my post that it was a metaphor. I am not talking about what we need in our actual 72 hour kits to weather climate change, or what the LDS Church says about that specific topic. I am trying to say: what would it look like to actually prevent and be prepared for the worst of catastrophic climate change? the 72 hour kit is my metaphor for the combination of skills, supplies and actions we must take to prepare for a world after peak oil, changing temperatures, and environmental and species devastation. I say ‘after’ knowing that it is happening now and only getting worse.

    As far as Steve’s comments about things not getting worse, I’d love to see some statistics and justifications for that. That being said, I want to dramatically change our actions as a species even if we weren’t 100 percent positively destroying 100 percent of the world. I’d like to believe we are less sociopathic than that, although the evidence isn’t good.

    As for saying that most Mormons are climate apathetic or climate deniers, I am speaking from two places: First, I live in Salt Lake City and the vast majority of the Mormons here are right to far right Republicans or lukewarm who hardly reckon with the facts. I am also speaking about the LDS Church on a public scale. I have never heard any church officials make any comments connecting emergency preparedness to WHY those emergencies are happening, or what we could do to prevent the tornadoes, hurricanes and floods we are so prepared to alleviate once they’ve happened–let alone talking about climate change as a moral and spiritual issue! Oh and a third reason I say this: If a very small minority of people are doing anything about climate change, then it goes without saying that the subset of Mormons who care are very, very small. Talking about and believing in it is not the same thing as preparing for and fighting it. (A mistake that the left makes all the time: “Well I am not some Glen Beck idiot! I BELIEVE in climate change.” And then they feel good and do nothing.)

    Thanks to all of you who are weighing in about this question. Mel, I really appreciated how seriously you took the question. We have an unspoken prohibition in our society against being honest about the climate facts, partly because they are so scary. But people need to know so we can prepare for and stop whatever parts of the crisis we can.

    I will come and finish my thoughts later (have to go to a meeting), but I will say two things. First, I have been going through my day lately with climate and peak oil goggles on. I look at all the actions I take and the things I use and think, “What would this action look like after peak oil and as climate change gets worse?” Or, “Will this material/supply/tool be available to me as climate change gets worse?” I think: In a world without fossil fuels, how would I get around? Where does my food come from? Do I know how to grow things, and grow them–as Mel said–in a changing climate? What about my clothes? Shelter? Heating and cooling?

    My answers scare me. I have almost no skills. My world is going to be totally different and I am not prepared. Neither is almost anyone I know.

    My second thought is this: Many people have suggested many solutions on this thread. But no one has yet talked about prevention in terms of massive civil disobedience. But that–amongst other kinds of direct action–is what it’s going to take. The actions people mentioned above are vitally important for individuals surviving climate change, but they are not occurring on a massive enough scale to prevent climate change in time. To do that, we must get political.

    On July 26, Tim DeChristopher is being sentenced at a federal courthouse for false bidding on land that would have otherwise been developed for oil and gas drilling. He did it to stop climate change. We should be at the courthouse supporting him and we should be taking direct action, as well. Last week, dozens of activists stormed the Montana Courthouse to oppose the XL pipeline–a pipeline that would bring massive amounts of tar sands fuel into the US, supporting the most destructive kind of fuel extraction on the planet. These activists locked themselves down in the governor’s office and refused to leave. We should do that, too. Meanwhile, two people from West Virginia are doing a tree sit to stop mountain-top removal (yep, that’s where they literally blast the tops off mountains to get at the coal inside) from continuing. Gotta have more of that.

    In other words, if we want to stop climate change, we’ve gotta get organized. We’ve got to identify the sources of resource extraction in our communities and beyond and stop fuel from being taken from the ground.

    And we have to mobilize and get creative. We can do what Move to Amend suggests and pass people’s laws abolishing corporate rights over community rights. We can follow the lead of people in the Buffalo Commons and renew the plains eco-systems, sequestering massive amounts of carbon and building up a whole ecosystem again. We can join the groups calling for an occupation of D.C.’s Freedom Square–to end war and environmental devastation and invest in green jobs and healthcare–or the occupation being called for on Wall Street–to stop rapacious bankers from funding that destruction.

    We can be way more brave and rad and ready than we have ever been before. But we have to do it now.

    LINKS:

    Tim DeChristopher’s actions and sentencing: http://www.peacefuluprising.org/july-26th-tim-dechristopher%E2%80%99s-sentencing-salt-lake-city-20110720

    Occupy Freedom Square: http://october2011.org/statement

    Occupy Wall Street: http://www.adbusters.org/blogs/adbusters-blog/occupywallstreet.html

    Move to Amend: movetoamend.org

    Buffalo Commons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_Commons

  15. SteveP July 21, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    “Perhaps global warming will lead to the big upswing but the evidence is not manifest yet.”
    It is incorrect. While individual storms cannot be attributed to climate change in general (and there are a few that we can link directly), the evidence that the variance in storm events is increasing is clear.

    It is also incorrect because we can see the effects written in the world’s and oceans ecosystems, with species redistribution and habitat change. We see it in ocean acidification, and in the rise in sea levels. We ‘don’t see it yet’ is absolutely silly from a view of many many scientific studies.

    For two very nice websites for nice summaries of what we know about climate change read Jared*’s blog “LDS Science Review” and BYU Climatologist Berry Bickmore’s Blog “Anti-Climate Change Extremism in Utah.” Both are up on the latest scientific story.

    It’s hard to know what to put in a 72-Hour Kit because some places will get drier and hotter, others cooler and wetter. I would say prepare for both because the extremes of both are likely to be possible. Higher variance means more unpredictability.

  16. missy. July 21, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Steve Evans- Like others have said, I’m sure it depends on where you live and what crowd of Mormons you hang out with. I live in Utah and based on conversations I’ve had with people, I would be shocked if more than a handful of people in my ward area/neighbor believed in global warming.

    Many of the people I talk to seem to believe that the most important ingredient in a 72-hour kit is personal righteousness. Which is disturbing to me on several levels, not the least of which is that it leads to some people I know believing–HONESTLY believing–that people who suffer in natural disasters were left unprotected because of their unworthiness. That the tsunami in Japan and Hurricane Katrina were God’s punishments, that the “African people” would be protected from war and famine if they would just live the Proclamation on the Family. (Oh, how I wish I was joking about these things.) Obviously this kind of mindset contributes to all of us not really believing that we will ever be victims of a “natural disaster” and certainly not believing that we have any accountability in the production of “natural” disasters.

    But now, as I think about it, I can’t help but see a parallel to the environmental-lite movement that says that personal choices will save the environment. That if I ride my bike to the park instead of driving twice a week, and take my own bags to the grocery store, and use vinegar to clean my house, that I will save the world. When we subscribe to these ideas, it becomes easy to see my neighbor with her shopping cart full of plastic bags as a perpetrator of harm on the environment. So on one hand: If I believe that my personal righteousness will protect me from natural disasters, then I will never be able to fully investigate the causes of those natural disasters or the fact that the first people who feel the impacts of climate change/environmental crisis are generally the people who had the smallest role in creating them. And on the other hand: If I believe that I can save the world with my “green” cleaning supplies, I will never feel the need to look more closely and discover the real polluters–the ones benefiting from the unabashed destruction of the earth.

    That’s why Ash’s suggestions in her comment seem so crucial to me.

  17. cummeld July 21, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    My ward is on the East Coast of the US. This scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants section 89 was read a few weeks ago:

    90 And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds.
    91 And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people.

    The sea heaving itself beyond its bounds really caught my attention.
    Other people immediately associated it with climate change too and talked about how immoral and immoderate consumption now is bringing on disaster. The lesson then moved into Emergency Prepardness so I think this dialogue is beginning to happen.

    Seeds. Dynamos. Bikes. Food Animals. Garden supplies. Water purification. Medicine. Knowing how to cook with basics that store forever.

  18. BPB July 21, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    The conversation centered around climate change is a troubling at best. You have the eyes-tight-shut deniers, the eyes-wide-open-in-terror believers, the apathetic…and me. I have neither seen nor read anything to date that has convinced me that the current climate change can be attributed to human activity. And history tells me that, while the way I live may need altering, nothing cataclysmic is on the horizon. Scandinavia was formerly the “bread-basket” of Europe, and several decades ago, there was a great deal of noise about global cooling. This earth we live on cycles. In my opinion, we’re just experiencing a swing in the temperature cycle.

    That said, I think that there are things that we should be doing to make life more livable. Namely, if the planet is going through a warm phase, begin adapting to it. Turn off (or at very least up) your A/C thermostats. I think that most people should look into tearing out their non-native Kentucky Bluegrass lawns and replace them with native grasses that are suited to the native climates. I think that the WWI era Victory Gardens would be a welcome sight in lawns, parks, and otherwise empty spaces. I think that the proposals to create urban farms in Detroit’s abandoned neighborhoods is genius, and if those proposals follow through to action, that it sets an excellent example for other urban areas. But the reason I think these things has little to do with the climate change, and everything with using resources effectively and efficiently.

  19. missy. July 22, 2011 at 9:21 am

    cummeld, that is good news indeed! I have never been in a class at church that made those connections.

    A few people have mentioned “food animals” so of course I feel the need to mention the other side of the coin. The vast majority of Americans are consuming meat/dairy products produced via animal agriculture, which is one of the biggest sources of environmental degradation on the planet. By cutting meat out of your diet you weaken that industry. And rather than preparing ourselves to raise and kill “food animals,” why don’t we also talk about learning to cook and eat local/seasonal vegetables, beans, etc.?

  20. mfranti July 22, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Missy,

    Of course veggies are on the menu in our 72 hour kit. I think we all agreed that growing food was very important. Some of us aren’t going to give up animal products. I will probably always keep chickens, for example. Their manure is too valuable to my little farm. They live well, I eat well and we have an arrangement that works for us.

  21. mfranti July 22, 2011 at 10:52 am

    BPB,

    I appreciate the spirit and tone of your comments, so please don’t take the following question as an attack.

    “I have neither seen nor read anything to date that has convinced me that the current climate change can be attributed to human activity.”

    What are your sources?

    It’s hard for me to understand how people with your opinion can discount the work of actual scientists in the field. It’s hard for me not to think that you’ve just discounted everything that people like SteveP and Kristine N (fellow contributors to this blog) do for a living.

    What I hear when you make statements like the one above is, “Steve, Kristine and every other legit scientist, I’m sure you think you know what you’re doing, but I know more because my sources and readings are more accurate than your research. ”

    Tell me I’m wrong.

  22. missy. July 22, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    mfranti- I know that you and others who comment here raise animals– but what I was getting at is that the vast majority of Americans eat large quantities of industrially-produced animal products. If a person is eating meat for lunch and dinner everyday, they are a) supporting ethically-horrific and environmentally-disastrous factory farms, b) not paying very close attention to the global impact that our food choices make in terms of food security and resource allocation, and c) not going to be prepared for the ways people will HAVE to cut back on meat consumption in the future (as the conditions that you described in previous comments come to fruition). I think that talking about “food animals” can sometimes be a security blanket that reassures people that animals should and will always be there and always be edible… but I think that relying on that assumption might lead people to make choices that aren’t in the world’s best interest.

    Someone just posted an interesting resource about animal agriculture and the environment on our facebook page: http://breakingnews.ewg.org/meateatersguide/take-the-quiz/
    It’s a good reminder that these issues aren’t tangential to the conversation, but sit right at the center of it.

  23. mfranti July 22, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    a.b.&c.

    all true and I agree!

  24. Kaimipono Wenger July 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    I wonder how much the attitude among church members comes from Mormon millenialism and eschatology. If we’re just waiting for the world to end anyway, then climate change is pretty insignificant. You know the narrative: We’re in the last days anyway, and the moon is going to turn to blood, two prophets die in Jerusalem, battle of Armageddon, gatherings in Missouri, etc. — and at the end of it all Jesus will show up and the earth will be perfected.

    I think (just anecdotally) that the Mormon focus on end-of-the-world events is waning somewhat in the face of correlation. You don’t see quite as many Priesthood lessons based on McConkie’s 42-item list of end-of-the-world events. But there are still quite a few church members who believe in the general account.

    And if that account is accepted as true, then climate change becomes pretty much irrelevant. No matter what we do, the earth is going to be trashed anyway, and then it will be fixed by Jesus. If that is the expected future, it makes sense for church members to basically ignore climate change.

  25. BPB July 28, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    mfranti,

    In no way am I trying to devalue the efforts of those scientists who work with climate change, let alone the contributors to this blog!

    I mean no disrespect for anyone, and I fervently hope that my comments did not seem self-righteous in any way. This issue is just one that garners a lot of emotions, and frequently, when we become emotional, somethings slide through the cracks, as it were. I see certain facts, like ice ages and a former wheat-mass-producing Scandinavia, and I have read articles that question the models that human-generated climate change is based on, and I wonder whether there aren’t more factors contributing to the climate change than are being considered.

    Here is one source for a different way of viewing anthropogenic climate change: http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/8/1603/pdf

    And I am all for environmentally-friendly lifestyles. I think that everyone ought to be more engaged in growing their own foods, carpooling, using public transportations, and limiting their impact on the environment as much as a population of 6 billion can, but I think that these things ought to be done, not in order to prevent catastrophe, but to be responsible stewards of the earth.

  26. Mike H. July 31, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Then, a big fire right now in Georgia:

    http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2214/

    “…However, it will take a tropical system to recharge the water table from the bottom up, which is the only thing that will truly end the threat from this ongoing fire.”

  27. mfranti July 31, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Mike,

    According to the experts, Global warming is a hoax designed by anyone center-left to take away your freedoms (or something like that).

    You might want to rethink your stance on the issue. I know I am.

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