Old School Joe Opts In

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Why a blog? 2019 seems to have marked a turning point in the global climate crisis, or at least in the public’s perception of the issue. About six in ten Americans (62%) say they are at least “somewhat worried” about global warming. More than one in five (23%) are “very worried”  (Leiserowitz et al., 2019).

Average global temperatures have warmed a full degree Celsius since 1880, an intense heatwave blanketed Europe, another category 5 hurricane decimated the Bahamas and scientists announced the earth may pass a disastrous ecological tipping point in under a decade if global carbon emissions continue apace. In addition, a courageous Swedish teen sailed to NY and gave a fiery speech at the United Nations. Greta Thunberg had been gaining international attention as a climate activist since 2018 when she organized the school strike for climate (also known as Fridays for future), but at this crucial moment her words have reverberated around the world. Her simple yet powerful message- ‘We need everyone to act‘….

Given the condition of our democracies, we fully agree. Politicians are not going to save us. If we are to avoid the worst impacts of global warming every human being needs to get involved.

Prior to this shift in thinking, Joe and I would have considered ourselves to be more or less “green” (with a lower case g). We recycle, eat a plant-based diet, compost our food scraps and try to use the AC sparingly. On the other hand, our environmental impact is disproportionately large as the US ranks 6th in the size of its carbon footprint per capita. We own two cars, take yearly vacations and complain if the local Walmart doesn’t have the tropical guava juice we like…….

In the words of a famous philosopher “the journey of a thousand miles”… our purpose in creating this blog is to increase our awareness of the ecological crisis and our parts in it. In particular, to learn about existing solutions, both large and small, that could be realized to change the way we live.

Our hope is that in the process we will begin to lead more sustainable lives, while spreading some of the best ideas we encounter along the way including some citizen science, some DIY, and local initiatives.

“Start where you stand and make the best of what is at hand.”

As for the title? We are two Gen Xers named Joe (or a derivative) who live in an old schoolhouse, converted to a home. Learning to make better choices.