17 March 2008

Top 10 reasons to be a Green Mormon

#10 Mormons are cheap and being sustainable saves money

# 9 The prophet said to plant a garden

# 8 Being translated is the smallest carbon footprint of all – just ask the Three Nephites

# 7 You can now be even more peculiar than all the other peculiar people in your ward

# 6 The stuff in Revelations doesn’t sound so bad if you believe in global warming

# 5 Feeding 5000 people with a few loaves and fish is really the way to go

# 4 We don’t have enough commandments yet

# 3 The earth already represents the lowest kingdom – making it worse leaves only outer darkness

# 2 We’re already used to saying, ‘It’s against my religion…’

# 1 Free your guilty conscience


http://fube.ca said...

Awesome! This list is great. You might add something about being blessed with an abounding posterity and their having a need for a place to live...

Raymond Takashi Swenson said...

I think it is great for people to seek voluntarily to "be green." I have a problem only when they decide to use government to force me into living according to their ideas of what is beneficial to the environment or not. Government is a blunt instrument, and all too often it overreacts and actually does things that hurt more than help. Case in point: The Montreal Protocol banned used of chlorine compounds as refrigerants because chlorine in the atmosphere can accelerate breakdown of ozone in the stratosphere. This was a response to the "ozone hole" over Antarctica, which turns out to be on relfection a phenomenon that can ONLY happen over the poles during their dark winters, when sunlight is not making new ozone out of oxygen, and it is cold enough to catalyze the chlorine reactions. Once spring comes, the problem is over and the ozone levels return to normal, and they were never that low to begin with, and were not over highly populated areas, plus the intensity of UV at high latitudes is low anyway. But the "solution" dictated by the treaty has released substitute refrigerants into the atmosphere that--surprise, surprise--are massively efficient greenhouse gases, a thousand times more than CO2. The UN IPCC has declared that the heat these chemicals trap ius 2 to 3 times as much as the Kyoto Protocol is supposed to get rid of. If we had not had the MOntreal Protocol to "solve" a non-problem, we would not need the Kyoto Protocol to solve the current problem.

green mormon architect said...

Thanks for the suggestion. There were quite a few others I didn't include - I actually had a hard time keeping it to 10.

I really appreciate your comments. I agree that sometimes the solutions in life end up worse than the original problem. However, in the US, this is not a top-down movement from the government, but a bottom-up movement with people, organizations, cities, and states taking action because they are concerned. Mayors all over the country are committing their cities to higher standards, including Las Vegas, Salt Lake, Boise, Phoenix, Denver, southern CA, etc. http://usmayors.org/climateprotection/listofcities.htm

Do you know which compound specifically is the problem that has replaced CFC’s? I would be curious to know since I haven’t heard about it. Regardless, CFC’s are still ozone-depleting compounds. Since taking them out of production, ozone levels have improved significantly since CFC emissions have accounted for 80% of the total ozone depletion.

There are always going to be better solutions as time goes on and technology develops further and as we learn more about our environment. In my opinion, that doesn’t mean we do nothing – all we can do is the best we can with the current information available. In the 80’s we learned that CFC’s are bad, so they were outlawed worldwide as a result of the Montreal Protocol. Twenty years later we have learned a lot more, so the Kyoto Protocol was created with basically all of humanity uniting behind it except for the US. Pushing for a better world will never come by sitting back and doing nothing. Only through trying and sometimes failing can progress be made. The goal remains the same for us as stewards – a cleaner, safer, more sustainable environment.

Mellifera said...

Tehee... the government itself is bottom-up, but indvidual agencies sure ain't. : ) Decisionmaking prcedure in agencies like the USDA or EPA are more generally a result of conversation between the agency and regulated industry than any kind of democratic process. Setting maximum levels for pollutants without going to the polls, that's one thing. But when the USDA starts programs like NAIS that really amount to legislation- but without any involvement whatsoever of Congress or any other elected officials- that's not bottom-up government by any stretch of the imagination.

Sorry for the extreme tangent... but you just got a farmer chick started on NAIS. : ) Seriously- look it up. National Animal ID System. The basic premise makes sense until you realize it will subject the owner of a chicken to more scrutiny than the owner of a handgun, and the financial consequences of all that oversight don't look like good news for anyone with a farm smaller than a 2,000-head feedlot.

green mormon architect said...

I have never heard of the NAIS - thanks for pointing it out. Talk about an enormous task - tracking every animal in the country! Interesting that the program is voluntary rather than mandatory (like the EPA's Energy Star program.) As soon as something like the bird flu hits the US, I could see the USDA making it mandatory to list all animals.

So the cost of all this will most likely transfer to higher food prices. But would the cost be as high as if a bird flu pandemic broke out? I'm not sure, and am curious what your thoughts are on this.

Interesting that Michael Leavitt (who happens to be LDS) used to head the EPA and now heads the Health and Human Services. He is also involved in Homeland Security. I have heard him state that the bird flu is the most serious threat to American security. Whether it's true or not, I don't know, but interesting nonetheless.

Mellifera said...

The NAIS didn't start out as voluntary. It only became that way after a lot of protest.

Bird flu! Don't get me started. Ok, too late. You CANNOT get bird flu from eating a bird that had it. You can get bird flu from being stuffed in a small confined space with birds that have it. That applies to maybe the 5,000 people who work in the poultry industry, and about 6 million chickens. As for all the hoorah about terrorists getting at us through our food supply, let's be honest. When terrorists who've been living off the drama of bombing planes and nightclubs for the last 15 years suddenly switch over to slipping virus pills to chickens, I'll be really really surprised. They're all about taking dramatic stands, not actually thinking through boring but effective ways of killing lots of people.

Anyway, that doesn't mean bird flu's not a real health threat. It also doesn't mean NAIS is a good way to fight it. The whole idea of NAIS is to trace back foodborne disease outbreaks, like mad cow or the E. coli beef recalls, by tracking animals' whereabouts throughout their lifetime with an individual ID number.

Sounds great... except, when's the last time you saw a package of chicken or ground beef with an ear tag ID in it? Personal ID number or not, that animal is still completely anonymous by the time the rubber hits the road.

There are also other issues, like feedlots with >X number of animals will be allowed to designate entire lots of animals (up to 1,000 or more) by one ID number. I think anybody who's ever moved 1,000 cows from one pen to another will tell you that some mixups are inevitable.

Also the fact that taking your horse out on a trail ride counts as a livestock movement- you have to be federally registered to own the horse for one thing, and then report it when you go somewhere with it. It's one thing when you're actually growing livestock, and another for some guy with his horse on vacation having to report in.

The whole thing reeks of a pretty good idea gone horribly wrong: tracking animals is fine. (In fact, buying animals of unknown origin at auctions is kind of moronic and I don't know why people do it.) The microchipping companies funding the USDA initiatives and it suddenly becoming mandatory, again with *no input whatsoever* from Congress, is not.

...Anyway, if you want to know more about this awesome program check out nonais.org.

green mormon architect said...

Very informative - thanks mellifera.

omnikitty said...

Last semester I signed up for a Environmental Biology class at BYU thinking it would be fun to swap green ideas with fellow classmates. Fun. Right... I have a bad habit of stumbling over my words. Somewhere in between "I don't believe Christ would litter" and "I'm morally opposed to abusing any of God's gifts to us, especially the Earth" I realized I had offended probably 90% of the students. This was made evident by a loud, angry male student's rebuttal with carefully chosen words... and being jumped after class only solidified those fears. *yes* I got jumped at BYU by BYU night students. (My first semester after transferring from the much friendlier BYU-Idaho.) Had it only been a day class... I think I'm going to start using the "It's against my religion line" and see if I get jumped in the daylight hours. :)

green mormon architect said...

Wow – I am sorry to hear that! Hard to believe people would be offended by such statements. Hopefully we can do our part to help change that type of attitude – especially if it is such a hostile one. Be sure to let me know how the 'it's against my religion' line goes. :)

GreenLDSbuilder said...


You know, the simple things can turn your home into a Green Home...

We all have those 50 gallon blue things, just put them in your back yard and collect water, so that you can water your garden that the prophet asked us to grow. You do have a garden, don't you. haha

You can change out your light bulbs to more efficient ones. Buy energy star appliances. I know, I know, we are a frugal people - I mean change them out when the non-energy saving ones die.

Place thermo's on your airconditioning units.

Automatic timers on your light switches, only $15-$20 each. That alone will save the planet, with all our kids going in and out of rooms all day.

We can all start off like that...

Great mixed bag of commentary, Bird-Flu, EPA, BYU... This board is great!

Mormons are informed people. I'm probably giving you info you already have;none the less, Keep it Green!

- Green Mormon Builder. www.housemaxnm.com

Eric Boysen said...

Health emergencies can be a threat to national security without themselves being brought about or aided by human agency. A massive epidemic could, however, be exploited by an adversary. If fifty percent of our armed forces and police, firefighters and medical personel were out sick, ten percent dead and all the other first responders trying to cope with fifty percent of the population sick or dead, we could not easily cope with another 9/11 scale event. Fotunately few terrorist organizations could mount operations of this magnitude quickly enough to take advantage of our circumstance.

Jettboy said...

"we could not easily cope with another 9/11 scale event."

After all, the Terrorists would be immune to the sickness. If it got as bad as your description then I don't think the terrorists would be in a position to try a complicated stunt. By the way, there was a major flu epidemic during WWI that killed millions of people. Yet, the governments and the war kept going.

There is no way that there would be the amount of sickness you envision without it endangering the existence of humans. Even the most disastrous epidemic in recorded history, the plague, "only" killed off one third of Europeans. That is before our medical knowledge and technology.