God's Politics

God's Politics


Slowing the Electric Slide Toward Global Warming (by Ginny Vroblesky)

posted by God's Politics

blogactiondaybanner.jpg

Perhaps I am dumb, but I had never connected flicking a switch to turn on the lights with increased asthma in children, higher levels of mercury in the Chesapeake Bay (and the need to stay away from eating too much fish), mountain top removal in West Virginia, and global warming. Over the past few weeks I have been working on a book project and had to look more closely at our use of energy as it relates to global warming. I never knew that the primary consumer of energy in the U.S., and the largest producer of greenhouse gases, is the electricity generation sector (39 percent of both). These amounts are then allocated to other economic sectors based on retail sales. I should not have been surprised to discover that we use more electricity in our homes than in any other area, including industry. Taking a step further, I found that 57 percent of the fuel my energy provider uses is coal – the most polluting of the types of fuel available in terms of greenhouse gas emissions – not only affecting global warming, but contributing to ground level ozone (air pollution). These plants also emit small particulate matter which can get into lungs, causing increased asthma and other lung disorders.


I’m not sure where my company’s coal comes from, but whether is from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, or some other location, my use of electricity, as well as that of my friends and my church, are what drives the energy company to utilize this coal to produce the energy we demand. I grieve for the loss of mountain tops that change the appearance of the area where my mother was born; for the fact that some of the local people there no longer have clear drinking water because of the run off caused by coal extraction processes, that wildlife no longer has a home. I am sad that the fish in the Bay are sickening, that the climate is changing, that we have bad air days because of ozone, and that asthma rates are growing. I wonder why this area has such a high cancer rate. All these things seem out of my control. They are happening around me, generated by forces I cannot see or relate to. But then I turn on the television, the dishwasher, the air conditioner. I am part of the picture. What I do does affect how the mountains look in West Virginia. It may be a small part, but there is a definite connection.


Part of the solution is cleaning up power plant emissions; part may be in finding new fuels. But the part that I have the most control over, and responsibility for, is my own use of energy. Some suggest changing light bulbs, others using more energy efficient appliances, letting the sun and wind dry clothes outside, turning off computers and other equipment that have standby modes, and using electricity to keep tiny bulbs burning. It is, in fact, very empowering to understand that by a flick of a switch I can make a statement about how I care for the mountains of West Virginia. It may not be much of one, not sufficient for the need, but at least it is immediate and accessible to me, my friends, and everyone else as well.


Ginny Vroblesky is the former national coordinator of A Rocha USA.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(19)
post a comment
Moderatelad

posted October 15, 2007 at 1:23 pm


Thanks for the aricle challeging us to be more efficent in our homes – churches and work.
Blessings –
.



report abuse
 

Cads

posted October 15, 2007 at 2:39 pm


Who is this person posting as Moderatelad?



report abuse
 

Moderatelad

posted October 15, 2007 at 2:47 pm


Posted by: Cads | October 15, 2007 2:39 PM
Who is this person posting as Moderatelad?
OK – OK – it’s a kinder gentler Moderatelad. We still have the ‘zingers’ when needed just putting them away to see if we can all ‘write nice’.
Thanks for the chuckle – I needed it today
Blessings –
.



report abuse
 

squeaky

posted October 15, 2007 at 7:02 pm


I too must commend your kinder, gentler comments with the conspicuous lack of zingers, Moderatelad. I would be remiss not to notice, wouldn’t I?
Good work! I give you an A!



report abuse
 

jerry

posted October 15, 2007 at 8:25 pm


okay ginnie….you get a B on this paper.



report abuse
 

Moderatelad

posted October 16, 2007 at 8:56 am


What about Nuclear Power?
We have two in MN and they are the most efficent and have the least problems. They also polute the least so – I believe this could be an answer.
Blessings –
.



report abuse
 

Tony Dickinson

posted October 16, 2007 at 4:09 pm


Three Mile Island? Chernobyl? Windscale (aka Sellafield)? Storage of even low-level waste. The possible answer poses too many difficult questions.



report abuse
 

squeaky

posted October 16, 2007 at 4:17 pm


Yes, sadly, although nuclear has many upsides, the downsides are really big downsides. I, however, have changed my stance from very anti-nuke to a more moderate view.



report abuse
 

I and I

posted October 16, 2007 at 4:57 pm


Y’all shoulda known that that first post was just Moderate getting ready to drop a big one. :)
Nuclear’s fair game. If it weren’t so darn dangerous it would be perfect! Just one little question to any pro-nuclear person posting here: would you like one in your back yard? Within a square mile of where you live? Upstream from your water supply? These are all respectful questions and not meant to be rhetorical.



report abuse
 

Feargal

posted October 16, 2007 at 8:38 pm


A question for moderatelad. Where will the repository for nuke waste go? Lots of highly ocnservative people here in Australia are spruiking to take the rest of thew world’s nuclear waste and store it here; how safely, and for what time span is another question.
Will you make such a repository in your backyard? Then give it to your children to look after (no energy gain for them; only the cost for our energy use now).
I remember a science column arguing for rockets to shoot the stuff into the sun; nice idea (if it works!) – but who would pay for it?
PS – a technology called synrock was developed in Australia; pity is, the destructive gamma/fast neutron (or are they slow neturons?) break the stuff down in only about 15 years.
PPS – The Russians have a neat solution; just dump the stuff into the rusted hulks of nuclear submarines; nothing like passing a legacy to your children.



report abuse
 

Mick Sheldon

posted October 16, 2007 at 11:07 pm


Just one little question to any pro-nuclear person posting here: would you like one in your back yard? Within a square mile of where you live? Upstream from your water supply? These are all respectful questions and not meant to be rhetorical.
Would you want Exxon in your backyard ? Just wondering because you don’t want it in thousands of square miles where there are no people in the reserve up north . So your solution is ?
Just wondering also , Has France had any problems ?



report abuse
 

Moderatelad

posted October 17, 2007 at 8:44 am


I have a Nuclear Plant up river from me and parts of my community get their water from the river. In all the years it has been opperating – not a problem. One of the first plants in the US was just a few miles south of the current one. It has been dismantled – the area is not a park and it has a plaque letting everyone know that on this site there was a nuclear plant. It can be done. USSR built the cheapest poorest designs man could think of building. It can be safe.
Blessings –
.



report abuse
 

I and I

posted October 17, 2007 at 9:38 am


“Would you want Exxon in your backyard ? Just wondering because you don’t want it in thousands of square miles… ”
Mick, a short lesson in blog etiquette: don’t make assumptions about what another poster wants or does not want unless he/she says so.
The rude post hardly warrants a response, but a solution might be…work on conservation and efficiency using a balance of market and government incentives, put CAFE standards in place, invest in public transportation, encourage bicycling in urban areas, stop subsidizing high-consumption transportation practices, and research alternative energy rather than trying to get a “free lunch” from Alaska that isn’t really there.



report abuse
 

squeaky

posted October 17, 2007 at 10:10 am


Mick,
“there are no people in the reserve up north .”
There are people up there–whose lives depend on the caribou.
Also, think about ANWR a bit–the amount of oil that is thought to be there is a drop in the bucket to how much Americans consume. It will not help us at all. Not only that, if we started drawing oil from there, it would be about 10 years before we see it come to market. It isn’t a quick fix. It isn’t a fix at all. And just because few humans live there doesn’t mean we are not affected by what happens there.



report abuse
 

Steve

posted October 17, 2007 at 10:45 am


Hey moderatelad, I left the Republican party and you can too. Did you see the big Republican debate on global warming yesterday? To be a Republican today you must believe that the spewing of millions of tons of toxic particles into our atmosphere that God created could be harmful is only junk science. Those pictures of the glaciers melting over time in National Geograpic are all just fake. Oh, wait that is kind of a science magazine, better not read it!



report abuse
 

Moderatelad

posted October 17, 2007 at 10:59 am


Posted by: Steve | October 17, 2007 10:45 AM
I was never a total Republican until the second term of Clinton. Prior to that I voted a split ticket every election. Why would I want to vote for people in a party like the MN DFL that have made politics ‘dirty’ over the past few decades? It is easier to make a conservative compassionate in MN than to get a democrat to be moral.
Blessings –
.



report abuse
 

Mick Sheldon

posted October 17, 2007 at 8:26 pm


There are people up there–whose lives depend on the caribou.
Squeaky this is where you make a mistake . You believe the caribou would be negatively effected ? You realize we have more deer in the United States then Columbo showed up . Was not talking about hurting the envirnoment . Come on debate fair , we need to do something while we transfer our energy independence on reusable and clean sources .
Ya think Iand I with these ideas will do it alone ?
I and I says
work on conservation and efficiency using a balance of market and government incentives, put CAFE standards in place, invest in public transportation, encourage bicycling in urban areas, stop subsidizing high-consumption transportation practices,
ME
Oh instead you chose to ignore my question about having Exxon in your backyard . Thanks for your response that you stated you should not have given , next time stay with your instincts .
IANDI
Mick, a short lesson in blog etiquette: don’t make assumptions about what another poster wants or does not want unless he/she says so.
So you then answer with this rather than trying to get a “free lunch” from Alaska that isn’t really there.
Not just rude but hypocritical using your standards . Which I don’t . And in case , perhaps using a real name may cause you to actually realize that people like the same respect you demand .



report abuse
 

Moderatelad

posted October 18, 2007 at 1:26 am


The the whole state of MN was ANWR. The amount of area needed to get the oil out would be about the size of two mens foot-prints.
We can manage to get the oil and maintain the enviorment of there with little problem and when we leave – return it to it’s natural state.
The enviromentalist groups that are preventing the drilling for oil on the CA coast and elsewhere and the development of additional refineries. They should get a dividend from the oil companies for helping them raise their prices on all of us.
Blessings –
.



report abuse
 

I and I

posted October 18, 2007 at 9:11 am


Mick, calm down. There is nothing hypocritical about not wanting words put in one’s mouth. I had said nothing about Alaska drilling, yet you said I was against it. If I offered an opinion about it later (which I did, sort of) then that’s my perogative and is certainly fair game for your critiques (many of which do have substance).
To answer the reasonable portion of your post: no, I wouldn’t want Exxon in my back yard. It would have a detrimental effect on my blueberry bushes.
And since you asked, my name is Peter. My guess is you’re probably nicer in person than you sometimes appear to be on these posts.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting God's Politics. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 11:14:07am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Why I Work for Immigration Reform (by Patty Kupfer)
When I tell people that I work on immigration reform, they usually laugh or say, "way to pick an easy topic." Everyday it feels like there is more fear, more hate. Raids are picking up in Nevada, California, and New York. A number of senators who supported comprehensive reform only a few months ago

posted 12:30:52pm Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Audio: Jim Wallis on "Value Voters" on The Tavis Smiley Show
Last week Jim was on The Tavis Smiley Show and talked about how the changing political landscape will affect the upcoming '08 election. Jim and Ken Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state, debated and discussed both the impact of "value voters" on the election and what those values entail. + Down

posted 10:11:56am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Verse of the Day: 'peace to the far and the near'
I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will lead them and repay them with comfort, creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord; and I will heal them. But the wicked are like the tossing sea that cannot keep still; its waters toss u

posted 9:35:01am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Daily News Digest (by Duane Shank)
the latest news on Mideast, Iran, Romney-Religious right, Blog action day, Turkey, SCHIP, Iran, Aids-Africa, India, Budget, Brownback-slavery apology, Canada, and selected op-eds. Sign up to receive our daily news summary via e-mail » Blog action day. Thousands of bloggers unite in blitz of green

posted 9:31:25am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.