02 September 2007

Generous Journal: Why green is generous

Now, you may have noticed from previous Generous Journal entries that a lot of my actions are to do with the environment. I'd started to worry about this because, while it's a good thing to be eco-friendly, can it really be classed as generous in the true meaning of the word? According to dictionary.com, 'generous' means:

1. liberal in giving or sharing; unselfish: a generous patron of the arts; a generous gift.
2. free from meanness or smallness of mind or character; magnanimous.
3. large; abundant; ample: a generous portion of pie.
4. rich or strong in flavor: a generous wine.
5. fertile; prolific: generous soil.

Now the first two definitions are what spring to mind for me. But what has that got to do with being green?

Well, on Thursday I went to a screening of Al Gore's documentary 'An Inconvenient Truth.' I really recommend it - it explains the science behind climate change and the effects of carbon really clearly. One thing Gore talks about in the documentary is that parts of Greenland and Antarctica are starting to melt. He said that if half of Greenland and half of West Antarctica were to melt (which is apparently a real possibility) this would cause flooding across all continents and displace 10 million people. Scary, isn't it?

This was what made me see that being green really is generous. How can I justify abusing the earth's resources at the expense of 10 million people? Do I really want my children and grandchildren to live in a world where the climate is out of control so that I can live more comfortably now? By making sure I keep my carbon footprint as small as possible now, I am going a tiny way towards making sure that the earth is shared properly and unselfishly; I am looking beyond my little world and being less small-minded.

I am going to try to do more generous stuff that's not related to the environment, but Thursday renewed my interest in being green and made me see that by doing so, I can be generous to everyone in the world, now and in the future. Which is a pretty cool thought!

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