Stop Global Warming
Global warming is for real and it is scary. The U.S. is the worst offender, but the federal government is sticking its head in the sand. Other countries are acting. Don't wait for someone else to do something. Replace your SUV with a Honda Insight, Toyota Prius, or a bicycle. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact florescents, insulate, turn down the thermostat, drive less. Insist that your local governments take action.
Over the last 450,000 years the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide and the global temperature have fluctuated in 140,000 year cycles. We are presently at a peak in that cycle (the 1X point plus 30%) and would normally expect CO2 to fall. There is a large time lag, so that if everyone were to stop burning all fossil fuel today, the effects of the last 200 years would still heat up the planet. Staying at the 1X [1800 AD] or 1X+30% point of the last 450,000 years is not an option. If we get our act together within the next 40 years, we might get off at a stabilized 2X in 2050. If we miss that, we will rapidly be hitting 3X , 4X , ... People have never been through this situation, but the planet has when the dinosaurs went extinct. The current average summer temperature in Washington DC is 85 F; 2X is 95F; 4X is 110F. When summer temperatures get hotter, people run more air conditioning, which requires more coal burning, which produces more CO2, which makes the summers hotter.
In the Pacific Northwest, we will be getting more rain in fall, winter and spring [grayer skies] and drier summers. In the winter, the mountains will get less snow and more rain. This reduces the amount of water in the rivers for salmon, hydroelectric power, and irrigation, while increasing flooding. At present, Seattle does not need air conditioning, but that could change. Now would be a good time to plant deciduous shade trees on the south and west sides of your house.
There is a chance that global warming will disrupt ocean currents. If Europe loses it's warm Atlantic current, it will become significantly colder and may be unable to grow enough food. Longer growing seasons are mostly good for US agriculture, except that lack of frosts will mean that more insect pests can survive all year long. We can expect mosquito-borne tropical diseases at home. The ocean levels are rising. We can expect that large parts of Bangladesh, Pacific Islands, Hoquiam, Aberdeen, Olympia, and Everett will be underwater.
Live below your means
My first experience living financially independently of my parents was attending graduate school at the University of Maryland in 1970. I found that I could live comfortably on my stipend of $3000 per year. When I finished school I started a real job at Sperry Univac, making $10,000 a year. I resolved to live on one third of my income, save one third, and give away one third. After working three years I had enough money to quit and do a three year round the world bicycle trip.
You are rich when your income exceeds your needs. Most people try to become rich by earning more money. This is very difficult since your needs will increase as fast as your income. It is easy to become rich by decreasing your needs. There is no need to become a monk. Keep some selective luxuries in your life.
This web site lives below its means. I could put in lots of photos, sound and animation, but what's the point? Do you want to wait to load all that stuff? Is style or content more important to you?
Practice non violence
America glorifies violence. Our movies, TV, video games, newspapers and magazines convince us that violence is normal, pervasive, entertaining, glamorous, and necessary. This distorted view of reality undermines our impulses to trust and be honest with others.
If you want to change the world, first change yourself. Root out violence in your own life. Disconnect from the brainwashing. Avoid all advertising and TV.
Examine your life for passive violence. This includes prejudice, manipulation, exploitation, consumerism, and wasting the earth's resources. If possible get rid of your car. Getting places by bicycle converts dead time to exercise time (you no longer need your health club) and makes it more difficult to bring home unneeded clutter. If you eat non-organic food, your money is poisoning farm workers, the land and the water.
The truth will make you free
Always be truthful in your own life. Expect truth from your family, friends, community and workplace. Protest if you don't get it. Don't go along with society's lies.
While voting may seem futile at times, keep doing it. Hold politicians accountable.
U.S. Constitution First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
This means what it says and that includes the Internet! Don't let anyone mess with your freedom!