Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's Fundraising Time with NPR

It seems that every three months our favorite NPR program is interrupted by a fundraiser. This also happens on another non-profit music station in my area. Like many of you, I get frustrated and bored in hearing over and over again about how valuable the station is to our lives and what would we do without it. In response, I change to another station until the program resumes. I am a member of one of the stations; therefore, I do not feel guilty about not donating at the moment when I hear that NPR mantra, "A World Without NPR." However, this fundraising season made me think about how we raise money and determine what "cause" is important to us. I also wonder if the financial sector should start their own fundraisers. For example, one of the wall street firms could ask for more money to support the bonus packages of its executive team. For only $2,000 a day, you get an mug with the firm's logo along with a tea-shirts that states, "My government donated $100 million and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!"

In all seriousness, there are good causes out there to donate your money and there are excellent charities to commit your time. In addition, it provides an invaluable feeling that you are helping out people who can't help themselves. This is the reason why I dedicate my spare time to protecting the environment. It is not as much time I would like to donate and perhaps it has no impact; however, it gives me hope that my small effort has a positive impact. Maybe my efforts and message gets to someone who can make a significant difference to the rest of the world, such as my congress person or the president of the United States or a business leader of a multinational corporation. This may be wishful thinking, but it does motivate me to keep on pushing the issue.

It is a shame that I can't have a fund raiser for Earth. I know, many environmental organizations have fundraisers. But, I am talking about a fundraise only for Mother Earth and not for the organization itself. The message, "what would your life be without Earth," would have more of an impact than the message,"what would your life be without NPR." For just $1 a day, you get to live on this planet and enjoy all of its wonders, including free air to breath. What a bargain! Now that is something for which I would donate my money and I would not turn the radio dial to another station.

A Different Type of “Meltdown “

There has been a lot of commentary and analysis on how we could have avoided this “global financial meltdown”. Unfortunately, there is another global meltdown occurring, which has been ignored and will make this economic crisis seem like a minor inconvenience in comparison. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts damages caused by climate change could cost developed countries up to 2% of its GDP. The United Kingdom’s Treasury Department in its 2006 report on the economic impact on climate change concluded that if we do nothing, the overall risk and cost will be equivalent of the world losing between 5% and 20% of its GDP. Therefore, the new Congress needs to pass within the first 100 days a bill that aggressively fights global warming and it needs to include in any economic stimulus bill funding for the development and growth of alternative energy and the upgrade and expansion of public transportation. Unlike the “global financial meltdown”, once the polar caps are melted, there is no way of restoring them. That would be a meltdown from which we could never recover.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Today is my first entry. This blog is designed to address two important issues facing this country and the world, the environment and the economy. One appears to be an immediate crisis and the other is assumed to be a crisis in the distant future. Unfortunately, both are a crisis which require equal attention. There needs to be a balance between our economy and the environment. Without the environment, we cannot have an economy. In contrast, with or without an economy, there will be an environment. I can only hope that our leaders get this message.