Reader Joe L. emails: “I have the good fortune of having my office in the same building as ‘The Onion’. This makes me feel terribly and unjustifiably hip. But a new set of folks moved in on the 10th floor. They publish the free magazine: ‘Common Ground: The Bay Area’s Monthly Magazine of Conscious Community’. One of my employees was reading some sections out loud. This Dear Umbra letter was particularly amusing ...”
Although I have always been one to conserve, recycle, etc., it is only in the last year that I have realized the extent of the catastrophe coming upon us in terms of climate change. I am 40-something, live in a city, own an older home with a sizeable mortgage that requires my husband and me to work, two kids, two cars, etc. I’ve done all the usual stuff: changed the light bulbs, we’ve each started biking to work when we don’t have to pick up our kids, and I’ve gotten politically active, writing emails and organizing my first event for the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Part of me feels such panic, though, and thinks we should sell the house before it becomes unlivable due to power and water shortages and economic meltdown, and join a sustainable community off the grid with water catchment, etc., and devote myself to environmental activism. But I like my job, my friends, my neighborhood and don’t really feel like starting over and am not sure I’ve got what it takes to live self-sufficiently. So does it make more sense to stay here and try to change things from within, even while living more wastefully, or should we get out while we still can?
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