TED Conversations

Alvar van Rijn


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How do YOU keep form getting frustrated and stay positive and active while keeping your eye's open to the problems and hurt in the world?

I've noticed a tendency in myself to want to know how the world works. Chances are that if you're reading this you and and I are much alike in that aspect. Sometimes information I learn is upsetting, like environmental issues, war, famine, corruption, peak oil. But I still want to learn this information. I refuse to stick my head in the sand. And I want to keep making a positive contribution to this world.

Sometimes though I do get frustrated and focus on the negatives in this world. After all, who are we against big corporations, corrupt governments, the military industrial complex, corporate media...

What exactly do you do, see, watch, think about, go to, focus on, to keep on going on with joy and energy while learning and making a positive contribution?


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  • Mar 17 2011: Action. Take action to reduce your personal carbon footprint, get reductions in your community and state, and send regular messages to the government to stop spending our taxes on subsidies for oil, to require energy efficiency, to save ecosystems. http://pirg.org; http://nrdc.org; http://earthjustice.org/our_work/climate_and_energy
    There will always be nay-sayers and obstructionists, but the boys in the back of the classroom who launch spitwads and sarcastic comments will join the game when they understand it and realize that they can be successful.
    Clean energy has enormous potential, it’s silly not to spread the buzz, once you realize its importance and how exciting it will be when it really takes off. Solar panels on roofs, geothermal pipes under buildings, wind turbines sending us kisses, walkable communities , speedy and efficient public transportation, and healthier food.
    Naomi Oreskes book, Merchants of Doubt explains how a very small group of people can have a huge effect. Did you know that prominent deniers Fred Seitz and Fred Singer used the same fake arguments to fight against regulations to protect us from the harmful effects of cigarettes, and acid rain, and now carbon dioxide emissions causing global warming. They were wrong before and we will prove them wrong again.
    Citizen action helped get women the vote, stop child labor, and reduce the threat of nuclear war. Get active. Lots of ideas in Guy Dauncey’s book: Climate Challenge, 101 Solutions to Global Warming. Thank you.

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