My Little Eco Rant…

“Change!” It’s incredibly cliché and overused. When people say the word, it creates more questions than answers. From campaign slogans to kitty litter box instructions, that simple word creates an array of mental images. But, I’m going to say it anyway – We have to change.

The traditional concept of the “American Way” as established in the 20th century (bigger, faster, fatter, cheaper, etc.) is clearly and undeniably unsustainable. I realize that telling people they need to change the way they see reality isn’t exactly a winning campaign strategy for an aspiring politician, but it has to start at some point.

The world’s oil supply has been on the decline for decades and climate change has been accelerating, wreaking havoc in the form of crazier weather and more intense storms. The Earth itself is at a tipping point and yet most of the world’s leaders are more concerned with drilling for more of a dwindling resource (it’s called “fossil” fuels for a reason) than investing in and improving renewable, sustainable sources of energy.

America is the richest nation on the planet and leads the world in natural resource consumption…and we only account for five percent of the global population. We produce incredible amounts of waste and pollution, which is to be expected from a developed society like ours. However, the fact that other nations around the world are striving to become like us should be a motivation for us to set an example.

Faster, sleeker, sexier cars are fun…but do they really improve one’s life? Buying everything in bulk may be economical, but it isn’t always the best option. Cheaper, hormone-filled foods treated with large amounts of chemicals may be convenient and delicious, but they have disastrous health implications for the body and the planet.

Higher profits and expansion are key to any successful business, but it shouldn’t be the goal of life. Capitalism creates superior products and innovations, but it can also create massive amounts of poverty, pollution and waste. In short, it is not the cure-all for every ailment.

I have nothing against technological innovation or progress; I’ve always been a geek, fascinated with new technologies and the promise of a better tomorrow as depicted in pop culture hits like Star Trek. I am incredibly thankful that I live in a prosperous country like the United States. I love my country and am optimistic about her future…even if her priorities are frequently out of whack.

Things like improving the efficiency of solar power technology and increasing incentives for green technology and renewable energy sources should be some of our top priorities as a species. Governments need to pledge to follow international treaties that treat climate change for what it is: a global crisis that affects everyone.

I know this kind of “rant” may simply be seen as a stupid, tree-hugging, hippie, pink0-commie plea for change, or something…and I don’t care. Shrug away. Laugh it off. Call me young and naive. Continue living in ignorance. I care about the future of this planet. I’m not trying to boost my own ego…to the contrary – Long after I’m gone, I want humanity to be thriving and continually improving. I can’t, in good conscience, focus solely on my own life and ambitions and ignore the consequences of contemporary policies.

Simply closing one’s eyes doesn’t make the rest of the world temporarily disappear. Get real and do something. Live your life with the knowledge that your decisions have consequences. Vote for candidates who are committed to humanity’s betterment and survival. Stay up to date on scientific advances and updates. Realize that while you may live in a sovereign nation, you share a planet with billions of other people and millions of other species. Change. 😉

Madonna Going Back to Catholicism? Most Likely Not…

The Daily Caller has reported that Madonna is looking into possibly joining the secretive Catholic sect Opus Dei. While I’m sure Madonna is always searching and looking for answers to life’s questions, I do not think she’ll become a full-fledged member of the secretive sect made famous by The DaVinci Code.

Madeleine Joelson of The Daily Caller wrote that Madonna was “devastated” by accusations that some of the board members of her charity, “Raising Malawi,” abused the money that had been raised. Most of the $3.9 million raised were actually spent on the Kabbalah Centre’s Los Angeles offices, according to a released report (the IRS has taken an interest in this as well…). There is evidence that Madonna has become disillusioned with Kabbalah.

Madonna is the most well-known follower of the Kabbalah (mystical Jewish sect focused on numerology). In fact, her flirtation with religion in general is one of the many things she’s known for (ie: the controversial video for Like a Prayer – as mentioned in my previous post – and the influences of Hinduism and Kabbalah in her album Ray of Light). It’s hard to believe that she was raised in a strict Roman Catholic home.

In a 60 Minutes interview in 1999, she said:

“I can believe. I can disagree with doctrines and dogmas and still celebrate them. I go to the synagogue, I study Hinduism…it’s about realizing that all paths lead to God in the end…the point in studying all of them is, really, they’re all the same at the end of the day. The core of it is the same….love is the most important thing.”

I doubt that Madonna will become a card-carrying member of Opus Dei, however. She will most likely take its strong work ethic and emphasis on personal devotion (two qualities she’s always had) to heart. But, when it comes to the celibacy rule or the conservative political views of the group, I know she’ll disagree with those “doctrines and dogmas.”

I love Madonna. I am inspired by her creativity, boldness and devotion to standing up for what she believes in. She’s churned out hits, pressed buttons and influenced the music industry and popular culture since 1983. She is arguably one of the most powerful and famous women in the world. She’s a force of nature.

From her 11 studio albums (of which I have all), countless interviews and activism (AIDS awareness, women’s rights, gay rights, etc.), I can safely say that Madonna will not be “converting” to Catholicism.

Interview Magazine Photoshoot 2010


“The Political Compass” is an accurate guide

I’ve taken several political quizes before to see exactly where I fall on political, economic and social issues. Of all of them, Political Compass is the most accurate and interesting of all Internet political quizes.

I’ve changed quite a bit over the years. I’ve gone from far-right to centrist with a definitive libertarian streak (hence, my support for everyone’s equality, more regulation of the food and credit card industries and even the President).

Here’s where I fall politically (in clip art terms)

Micah's Politics