Thursday, September 6, 2012

The treehugger and her hugger

Dear Evan

So, I'm starting a book, in large part thanks to your encouragement and tolerance of my weird and wacky eco ways. I know sometimes you might feel a little bit like you are Living with Ed, but what did you expect? You married a biologist, from California (the land of fruits and nuts), who became an environmental educator. 

I know at times this can be taxing/annoying/gross/inconvenient and that you have frequently said you need to start a support group called "The Tree Hugger Huggers" for the fellow spouses and partners who are fortunate (or unfortunate?) enough to be with people like me. People who plague you by putting ethical significance on your every action an meal, (are we really going to buy the aerosol spray can of whip cream? And, yes, we do), people who abhor non-native grasses, keep strange biological specimens (ie: bugs, mice, placentas, worms, slime molds) in your freezer, and who have decided that if you grow at least your own body weight in vegetables you to might be worthy of being a Planeteer... OMG he's on the internet! (Thanks for giving me your childhood ring, by the way. It empowers me still). *Check out this cool organization that continues the mission.

Well now is your chance to head that group and publicly lament (and occasionally praise?) your eco-crazy. I'm inviting you to honestly and hilariously document with me the eco-adventures and sojourns into sustainable eating that our family has. Let's look for and relish (oh, bad food pun) the cheaper nuggets that are here all around us as we try to get our lovelies, ages six, three, and under one, to learn about, create, and cherish good food. 

And if we get rich in the process, we can just re-invest that back into good food. What do you say? Are you in?

Love me?


My Dearest Wife,

You are a raging tree-hugging, veggie-eating, chicken-hatching (in my study!), flower-sniffing, raccoon-skinning (oh wait, you made me do that), bringing-home-a-snake-for-our-first-Valentines-Day (seriously, I should have seen the signs) nut…  and I love you!   

It's been fascinating to me learning all the things I thought I knew about. You jest about the whip-cream. Of course for our generation, the use of aerosols was one of those "don't do it cause Captain Planet will hate you" things, when in fact the use of CFC's in aerosols has been phased out for some time now thanks to the work of many including Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) who won the Nobel Peace prize for their efforts. Yet this was something I was taught to obsess about as a child to "save the planet".  I was told CFC's were eating away the O-Zone layer which would never be replaced. [They formerly were and at the time we were children both the full consequences and remediation effects were yet to be seen. See some of the debate about the ethics from this 1990 article. ~H] Of course now I discover that the problem was beginning to be averted  before I heard about it and the O-Zone is in fact healing with time with many important benefits. You have helped remind me in many such cases not to go in too quickly for the hype and I'm thankful for the perspective you bring.

Don't get me wrong living with an enviro-drill-sargent is hell sometimes...  I mean you can't win every argument just because your way is better for the planet, that's cheating. Like how we can't get through a meal without a lecture about where this food is from and what it is doing to us… seriously if I'm eating chocolate cake from a restaurant, I know it's not good for me. And if instead I'm eating homemade cake with flour from wheat we grew and ground ourselves and chocolate frosting made from soy texturing flavored with fresh cacao beans from a free trade farm in Columbia… it's still not good for me.  But I share your vision that our children will love food and the world they live in as we do, and you know we share the desire that they grow up in a world that is increasingly beautiful and healthy. So I guess what I'm saying is, babe, I'm in.


Dear E,

My opposition to whip cream stems from the guilt I feel over the inability to recycle the steel can, not actually the ozone issue. But thanks for bringing up such an important area where lots of misinformation abounds! Some heroes that nobody has heard of are the scientists who first discovered and advocated for the theory of ozone depletion: Sherry Rowland, Mario Molina, and Susan Solomon; the first two received the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize in Chemistry the later shared in that 2007 Nobel Prize with Al Gore. For another interesting, although a little thick, read on the ways the science of the ozone issue was obscured check out this. And, *poof!* look at that-your letters come complete with citations.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for dropping in at our table! Feel free to insert a link back to your webpage here. We aim to publish legitimate comments. We welcome discussion, even dissension, but please try to be courteous and cite your sources.