Change can be good

I think anyone who knows me would say, without a doubt, I’ve changed drastically over the last two years since moving to Seattle. I haven’t changed as a person per se, but I have definitely changed my lifestyle. Here’s a small list of things that my old friends from Michigan simply can’t comprehend.

  1. I’ve participated in multiple 5k’s and triathlons.
  2. I own a TV, but don’t have cable. I rarely watch TV and consume 90% of my media online.
  3. I rarely drive. This last summer I was quite proud of the fact that I didn’t drive my vehicle for 3.5 weeks.
  4. I don’t eat fast food for the most part.

Now reverse that list and that’s how I lived in the Midwest. The two there that my friends from Michigan are simply astounded about are not driving and not watching TV. This got me thinking as to how much of an impact my move to Seattle has had on the planet. So I took a quiz that calculates my ecological footprint to compare my two lifestyles. I’m happy to report that I’ve saved an entire planet by moving to Seattle! Well, not really, but my ecological footprint went from a score of 23 (5.2 planets to sustain my existence) to 18 (4 planets to sustain my existence).

So, this isn’t really something to cheer about, but it’s definitely an improvement. To top things off I really like the new me. I like training for triathlons, I like being ignorant of pop media and I especially like not having to drive everywhere.

Change is good.

GM Kills EV

General Motors has decided to pull its electric cars from the market in California. What I find so sad about this situation is that it seems no one cares about clean air. All of you idiots out there driving around in huge SUV’s (someone please validate why they need a Ford Excursion) are ruining the air for the rest of us.

I may not go so far as to say you’re supporting terrorism, but I will say that you are supporting the destruction of our air and water supplies. Call me a tree hugging hippy, but when your grandchildren miss school because of air quality (as they already do in Mexico City) you have no one to blame but yourself.

What is it with America’s psychology? Despite being 5% of the world’s population we generate 40% of its waste. The average human produces a whopping 1,400 pounds (that’s almost a ton) of waste each year.

Here’s another interesting fact. Oil consumption between 1978 and 1983 went down in the US due to more oil efficient cars hitting the street. That figure is now increasing since the introduction of SUV’s.

All about gas

I came across an interesting article outlining California’s gas woes. It goes into great detail as to why California’s gas prices are so much higher than the rest of the country’s. Furthermore, it explains why gas costs more in the summer than in the winter.

It seems that the summer heat affects the way gas behaves and the way it pollutes. This means gas companies have to create a special “summer blend” that costs more to refine.

Becuase California has stricter pollution standards and the recent switch away from MTBE to ethanol the state is experiencing increased gas prices as the refiners perfect their ethanol based blends.

Questions are being raised about price gouging, as can be expected when gas prices are 40 cents higher than the rest of the US. It seems a few of the refiners have already perfected the blend and cut costs, but since many haven’t prices remain high, which, in turn, results in huge profits for the ones who have perfected the new ethanol blend. Yet another day of craziness in the free market oil trade.

I'd like a triple with cheese

I eat meat. Being born and raised in the midwest means that you eat meat and lots of it. I came accross this article that points out many animals are killed while harvesting vegetables. The author’s references can be found here and here. The point I’d like to make is that neither vegan nor meat eating are humane eating standards. With vegan thousands and thousands of field animals (squirrels, skunks, etc.) are killed and forced from habitats. With meat eating harmless cows are killed everyday. This means, in my opinion, that the moral issue is null. Either way innocent animals are killed so we can live.

I won’t argue with the other side of the argument, which says being a vegan is more healthy. Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and Jersey Giant aren’t the best ways to reach phsyical nirvana. However, many studies have shown that living without any kinds of meat, milk, or cheese can lead to serious deficiencies in calcium and iron.