Thursday, April 10, 2008

#205 - Entertaining Myself

Learning More About Environmental Issues Through Other Media

Time for another change here. I'll get back to more giving tips for The Challenge next week. But today I wanted to talk about another change I've been making here. In addition to all the wonderful information I get online, not just from my research but from other bloggers, I've started reading more enviro-books. I've also checked out a DVD or two that I definitely would not have watched a year ago.

Why is this important? Well, it helps me to learn more about these issues that are becoming so near and dear to my heart. Getting information online is great, but it only goes so deep. It tells you the "what to do"s but many times does not delve deep enough into the "how"s and "why"s.

So far, I've read Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma and the follow-up, In Defense of Food. Both excellent reads that will convince you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you can and should stop relying on industrial food products and search out local, sustainably grown (or raised) food instead.

I've read Affluenza and Consuming Kids. Both good books about the unhealthy addiction we Americans have to our consumer goods. Not any big surprises there, though.

I've also read Deep Economy by Bill McKibben, a book I'll also give a hearty "two thumbs up" recommendation. It finally provides me with the proof to something I've known in my heart all along but have been unable to calculate in numbers: That dealing with local sellers (even if they didn't make the product themselves) is better for our environment. Also, that a "community" is more than just a housing development within which your house sits. And finally, that the old models of economics just do not apply to our fragile world and they need to be replaced with something new.

As for videos, they're a little harder to come by. If I do end up finding them in the library or at Blockbuster, I often get them home and end up without having time to watch them before they're due back. I did get to see Who Killed the Electric Car? the other week, though. It was a little disturbing and a bit hopeful all at the same time. Disturbing to think that the combined strength of industry and politics seems to continually have us by the balls. But hopeful to know that the technology IS here.

I'm a total eco-slacker though, in that I STILL have not watched An Inconvenient Truth. I'm surprised no one has taken my composter away for that one!
So the moral of this change is that you can't rely on one source (even the internet) for all of your information. Take some time to read or watch something that's not online. Odds are you'll gain a much, much deeper understanding of the subject matter than you would just browsing the net.


Anonymous said...

Rent and watch "Blue Vinyl!" Oh please oh please!

Wendy said...

Netflix. Your membership gives you up to a certain number of DVDs at any given time (we can have three), but you also get unlimited access to their online library. I've watched several of their films online, including The Business of Being Born, which is about the negative impacts of our country's obsterical practices. Really fantastic film.

Another online film that will change your life is Zeitgeist, the movie. You can google it and watch it on your computer. It's a couple hours long, but TOTALLY worth watching.

Green Bean said...

I couldn't agree more. Reading some of these books will change your life. That was why I start my Green Book Club - I figured that even if I got a few people to read one of these books, it would have a much bigger impact on them than me telling them the facts in the books. I've added Deep Economy to my library list. Thanks.

Oh, and I haven't seen Inconvenient Truth either. Actually, I kind of don't want to. I figure it might be too depressing and I'm already working as hard as I can to combat global warming. Like you, I also often don't have time to watch the DVDs. We have seen Frontier House and Colonial House but I couldn't get my husband to watch the Affluenza DVD. I did take my husband to 11th Hour which was great - very hopeful yet very informative. Great post.

Going Crunchy said...

I can't wait to see the Eleventh Hour! I mostly see documentaries or watch a DVD when I'm forced (against my will!!!) to fold laundry.

I'm currently reading Common Wealth and it's awesome. Affluenza really opened my eyes, and Last Child in the Woods had me up off my seat. You can read the book Inconvenient Truth if you don't want to see the movie.

Burbanmom said...

Crunchy Chicken wrote:

"I actually slept through most of An Inconvenient Truth.

Sorry, but Al has that effect on people."

And then I accidentally hit "Reject" rather than "Publish", because, apparently, I am made of illiterate. Sorry 'bout that, Crunch!

HappyAunt said...

I'm still actually a little annoyed by the hype surrounding an inconvenient truth. I'm glad that the subject is getting attention but it burns me that Al Gore is getting rich from it.