What does it mean to “go green”? It depends on who you ask. I’ve always been a lover of natural spaces. That’s one reason I love living in Nevada, because of the vast open spaces of mostly natural landscapes governed by the BLM instead of locked up in private ownership. In my youth as a participant in Boy Scouts, being a conservationist was always part of my skill set and belief system. So I’ve always considered conserving nature part of what it means to be green.
As the discussion of climate change has become more urgent and popular, the idea of moving towards a “green economy” to help slow and reverse this warming crisis made sense to me. That’s what most people see as the modern green movement.
Natural Spaces Must Be Preserved In Any Viable Green Movement
It turns out that the problem our planet faces isn’t just carbon emissions and the associated warming. Natural systems are breaking down from human construction and development, chemicals and a variety of toxins and pollutants we dump in our air, soil and waterways.
Even as it relates to climate change, stopping our use of fossil fuels won’t be enough to stop the Earth from warming over 1.5 to 2 degrees celsius, which is enough for disaster.
“Again and again, including in a major report published fall, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other science bodies have reached a stark conclusion: Most paths to halting global temperature increases at 2 degrees—and every path to reach 1.5 degrees—rely in some way on adopting methods of sucking CO2 from the sky.”
To take carbon from the atmosphere, we need the grasslands, trees and other vegetation in our natural spaces… and in fact need to increase those places, not destroy them at alarming rates, which is our current mode of operation.
Any real green movement must emphasize the protection and restoration of natural spaces.
It Ain’t Easy Being Green
At the very same time, our cultural norm and assumed imperative is that the economy must grow grow grow. In this process, we continue to develop (aka destroy) the natural spaces we need to suck the carbon out of the air. Our cities and rural communities continue to grow beyond their borders. The energy demands also grow. And the demand for resources we get from other countries grows as natural spaces everywhere else are then destroyed to keep up with that demand. This is called industrial civilization.
This calls into question the greeness of continually building more renewable energy sources that themselves often destroy natural spaces, and that fuel the continued growth destroying other natural spaces.
A Better Definition of Going Green
To really go green, we need to question these growth models and the continual demand for more and more resources. What if people could produce the things they need right in the places they live, without destroying nature? This is no easy task given the way we have built up a global resource-extracting economy of consumption that ties most of us to jobs in cities and makes us dependent on profit-driven corporations for all our needs.
What if we could live more simply, grow food and let the natural environment be restored? They’ve taken away our ability to take care of ourselves… and we’ve allowed this in the name of “progress.”
A much better definition of green would be a state of equilibrium with the natural environment. All living things play a role in any ecosystem they are in. In fact, biodiversity is vital to human health. Predators eat other animals, but usually thin out the weaker animals of a herd, which in fact contributes to the health of the herd. They don’t eat the whole herd!
It is necessary for humans to consume elements of our natural world, but we must follow the same rules our animal friends do. Herds can be harvested, but they need to be preserved both for short-term and long-term needs. Right now we have already destroyed most of the herd.
The Green Revolution
This website was started with the simple idea that we need to take back the ability to take care of our own needs. It’s the only way our world will survive. This will involve a rethinking of all our assumptions about economics and government, because the current systems are designed to take care of those folks profiting wildly under it. They aren’t likely to go along with the necessary changes voluntarily.
We start with the intention. We can start learning and sharing the skills needed to adapt to a new way of living. That’s exactly what we are doing here at DIY Green Life. We do this to prepare and inspire more people to believe this is not only possible, but rewarding and necessary.
We do not believe individuals deciding to live simply will be enough to stop global catastrophe. That will require systemic changes. That said, we do believe Individual actions can be part of movement building and skill acquisition. To that end, we start this platform. We hope you will subscribe here and follow along on our journey.