Monday, March 24, 2008

Close up and personal, Earth Hour, exercise

I love the way macro shots of flowers show so much more than is apparent when a flower is viewed as part of a group. I am taking so many photographs these days that it's hard to know which ones I want to include in my posts. I am better at closeups than I am at landscape shots or even telephoto lens shots of individuals that are distant.For this post, I'm going to include up close and personal shots. The banner and video at the top of my blog announcing Earth Hour will come down Sunday. If you are interesting in participating, you don't have to sign up or do anything except for turn off your lights at 8 pm on Saturday and leave them off for one hour. The purpose of this exercise is to call attention to global warming and was started in Australia in 2007. It's pretty impressive to think about the fact that in 2007 when 2.2 million people in Sydney Australia turned off their lights for one hour, the greenhouse reduction they achieved was such that if it was sustained for a year, it would be equivalent to taking 48,616 cars off the road for a year.
Earth hour has become a global event in 2008 and the advantage to signing up is so that they can track how many people in different parts of the world are involved. In addition to turning off my lights for one hour, I have decided not to turn on my computer or television at all on Saturday. That will be a big change for me.
I am not sure when I started leaving my computer on all day, or when I started half watching TV. I always had phases of watching TV but in the past I would also have long phases of barely watching it at all. For quite a few years now, I will turn my TV on and half watch, meaning I'm doing something else and the TV is more of a background. I have to have my computer on during the day for work, and I communicate with family via email a lot since we are spread out across the U.S. But I don't need to go back and forth between the TV and computer like I've started doing in recent years during leisure time. It's odd to me, that deciding not to turn on the TV or computer for one of the weekend days is an event. It used to be fairly common place for me to have days without TV or computer time. However, that is rare at this point, for me, and primarily when I'm on vacation.
I read an article in a magazine when I was at a Doctor's office recently which suggested that everyone should try to walk if they are running errands within a mile of their house. I have been doing that recently and am going to try to continue. I like the idea of combining exercise and errands. I am encouraged on the exercise front. I have managed to get some kind of exercise 15 out of 17 days. I'm going to go for a walk shortly which will bring it up to 16 out of 18 days. Each of those days except one was walking with the alternate exercise being on a rainy day. I have also been remembering to stretch. I am starting to feel better too. I have more energy.I've found some interesting sites which I'm going to be mentioning in my upcoming posts this week in case anyone who reads my blog are interested. The Northern Research Station of the USDA Forest Service has several Climate Change Atlases. You can view the one for trees and one for birds. Each species was modeled individually to show current and future changes according to two emissions scenarios. The databases are for species in the Eastern U.S. Another site of interest to me is the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC). The CEC is an international organization created by Canada, Mexico and the U.S. The CEC was established to address regional environmental concerns, help prevent potential trade and environmental conflicts, and to promote the effective enforcement of environmental law. There are so many organizations which are trying to address the impact of global warming. I particularly like the fact that some are involved in international efforts. More on that later.


escape said...

wow! that's a real close shot. you get to appreciate every detail of a flower.

Barb said...

Your macro shots are stunning! I've been wanting to try that myself.

I hardly ever watch TV either. I do turn it on when I get into bed and put it on sleep timer, mostly because I fall asleep easier when there is background noise. Because there are only about 2 TV shows I consider worth my time, I usually put in a DVD or playback a show I've recorded to the DVD.

Anonymous said...

Oh Beautiful for smoggy skies, insecticided grain,
For strip-mined mountain's majesty above the asphalt plain.
America, America, man sheds his waste on thee,
And hides the pines with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea.
-George Carlin

Insert a deep sigh here.

I have my green bags.
I have my bike for errands.
I have my legs to go to the market.
I have not driven the car in a week.
I just love urban living.
May common sense please prevail. Not everyone can skip using a car, but everyone can do something help Earth. If we all do just a little, the impact will be huge. I once read that reusing a bag, box, or bottle just once really helps. (Do you think it helps that I pour the water I use to rinse beer and wine bottles out onto my plants? They seem to all be doing well.) I also started thinking about what a waste it is that all of these little lights stay on all the time, even when we aren't using stuff like microwave ovens, coffee pots, printers, etc. H-m-m-m. Kinda pointless.
Like I said, we are conservative in this family, but even my other half, a biggo conservative, agrees that it is nice to walk 3 blocks to his office.
Saves time and moolah.
He can show you the savings on a chart, list and/or graph too. :)
Sorry to get on a roll, but thanks for the awareness.
BTW... Darling Carver, your pictures are so beautiful and I love your Happy Spring Feet.
I also love that you are walking and stretching.
H-m-m-m. We should all do more stretching...I will start now.
Love, K.

Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth.
-Native American Wisdom

Carver said...

Thanks "the dong" for your comment.

Hi "willthink4wine" thanks so much. I have been working on macro shots for years and something clicked about a year ago. Not sure what but they are working for me better. I know what you mean about there not being many TV shows worth your time.

Hi Kim, Your quotes are so great as usual. I love the contrast between the first and the last but both are saying the same thing at one level. I do think the little things make a big difference and you and B both do a lot of different things that help and have since I've known you. That's the idea of earth hour to show that if everyone does one little thing it adds up to a lot. It's not so much a matter of it needing to be around an event like that but the event gives them data to demonstrate a point. I'm trying to incorporate more small routines into my life as conservation measures and you gave me ideas back when you were still in AL and dealing with the drought. I get a lot of ideas from you so make a difference in what you do and then via me copycatting. Cheers, Carver

Barbara said...

Your macro photos are amazing, I love to see flowers close up. Like you I half watch TV, I am often knitting or reading a magazine. Keep up with the exercise!

mommanator said...

I love love love the photos! Great going.
I will sign up. I am really into Greening the Earth!I will forward to others too!
I wish I could walk to the store, but they are too far! but I do try and only go when I really need something and make lists so when I do go it isn't just for one thing!

Carver said...

Thanks Starnitesky, I appreciate your support and comment.

Thanks Mommanator, I appreciate your comment.

Dee said...

Hi Carver,
Those are really detailed macroshots . . . very cool, as usual! Also, interesting stats about Earth Hour. I will be away this week-end, but I think I will turn off my outside door light before I go, so that I can say that I'm joining in! Last spring, I taught a class entitled "World Ethnography"- our departmental class that allows the professor to highlight a particular part of the world and a current issue in that region. I taught about circumpolar indigenous peoples and the issue is climate change/global warming. I asked the students to make at least three changes on a list of 50 things that you could do to reduce your carbon emissions that Time published last year. I think it was called "50 Ways to Save the Planet". At the end of the term, students had to report on how well they did to make those changes. The students who made the most changes got gift certificates to the book store and then I bought pizza for the whole class. Two students, both Emilys, each did about 15 things from that list. It was impressive! I made some changes, too, like paying my bills online. Recently, a graduate student here at OSU held a Campus Carbon Challenge in February. I signed up and managed to do about half of what I thought I could do - unfortunately, I found out that my cancer had metastasized to my skin and my bones, so my energy was put to taking care of that, so I didn't get to my whole list. But I did manage to almost cut out the use of bottled water and also have managed to cut my use of disposable coffee cups from our local coffee shops by at least 1/3. Anyway, there's a lot to be done . . . just wanted you to know that I'm glad you're publicizing Earth Hour!

Carver said...

Hi Dee, I think it's great that you challenged your students to make changes. I enjoyed reading your comment. I think education is so important to this issue so I always like to read about efforts in that area.